Access the Online Archive
Search the Historical Archive of the Pirelli Foundation for sources and materials. Select the type of support you are interested in and write the keywords of your research.
  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Drawings and posters
  • Audio-visuals
  • Publications and magazines
  • All
Help with your research
To request to view the materials in the Historical Archive and in the libraries of the Pirelli Foundation for study and research purposes and/or to find out how to request the use of materials for loans and exhibitions, please fill in the form below. You will receive an email confirming receipt of the request and you will be contacted.

I declare that I have read and understood the privacy statement concerning the processing of my personal data[DTJI1] ,  and, pursuant to Art. 6 of the GDPR, I authorise the Pirelli Foundation to process my personal data for the purposes described therein. .

Fields marked with * are mandatory
Pirelli Foundation Educational Courses

Select the education level of the school
  • Primary schools

  • Lower secondary school

  • Upper secondary school

  • University

Back
Primary schools
Pirelli Foundation Educational Courses
Please fill in your details and the staff of Pirelli Foundation Educational will contact you to arrange the dates of the course.

I declare that I have read and understood the privacy statement concerning the processing of my personal data[DTJI1] ,  and, pursuant to Art. 6 of the GDPR, I authorise the Pirelli Foundation to process my personal data for the purposes described therein. .

Fields marked with * are mandatory
Back
Lower secondary school
Pirelli Foundation Educational Courses
Please fill in your details and the staff of Pirelli Foundation Educational will contact you to arrange the dates of the course.

I declare that I have read and understood the privacy statement concerning the processing of my personal data[DTJI1] ,  and, pursuant to Art. 6 of the GDPR, I authorise the Pirelli Foundation to process my personal data for the purposes described therein. .

Fields marked with * are mandatory
Back
Upper secondary school
Pirelli Foundation Educational Courses
Please fill in your details and the staff of Pirelli Foundation Educational will contact you to arrange the dates of the course.

I declare that I have read and understood the privacy statement concerning the processing of my personal data[DTJI1] ,  and, pursuant to Art. 6 of the GDPR, I authorise the Pirelli Foundation to process my personal data for the purposes described therein. .

Fields marked with * are mandatory
Back
University
Pirelli Foundation Educational Courses

Do you want to organize a training programme with your students? For information and reservations, write to universita@fondazionepirelli.org

Visit the Foundation
For information on the Foundation's activities and admission to the spaces,
please call +39 0264423971 or write to visite@fondazionepirelli.org

I declare that I have read and understood the privacy statement concerning the processing of my personal data[DTJI1] ,  and, pursuant to Art. 6 of the GDPR, I authorise the Pirelli Foundation to process my personal data for the purposes described therein. .

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The Bicocca degli Arcimboldi: New Sources Help Reconstruct its History

The Pirelli Foundation has recently acquired 25 photographs that offer a rare and fascinating look at the history of the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, the villa that was built in the second half of the fifteenth century, giving the district its name, and that is now part of the Pirelli Headquarters. The largest group of photographs shows the restoration work carried out on the villa in 1910 under the architect Ambrogio Annoni. In those days, the Bicocca was in a state of neglect: “… the traces of fifteenth-century architecture were buried beneath partitions and the doors and the windows and balconies of the farmhouse it had become”, recalled Annoni in 1922 in a publication devoted to the building. After the Arcimboldi family, the former owners, died out, the villa passed from hand to hand, until the early twentieth century, when it reached the Società Anonima Quartiere Industriale Nord Milano. This joint-stock company was set up in 1907 by the Pirelli and Ernesto Breda companies, together with some financial institutions, with the aim of managing the transformation of the agricultural area north of Milan into an industrial zone, and its first act was to acquire the land. The restoration work was started by SAQINM, in collaboration with the Soprintendenza ai Monumenti, as Annoni always recalled: “… we owe them the merit of not neglecting the historic building, and indeed of comprehending its artistic value with a breadth of ideas that we would not even have hoped for initially […] Along the avenue between Milan and Monza they planned to resurrect the Bicocca, with the Mirabello at the beginning of the district and the Torretta at the end.” The villa was in ruins, as we see in one of the photographs, which shows a woman posing in front of the portico, with rubble all around. Some pictures show the workers on scaffolding or arranging a column in the portico. Others, dated November 1910, show some of the details after restoration: the inside of the loggia, a window, and the clock. Another four photos taken in 1911 show the exterior of the villa (and in particular the east side, where there was a small chapel, later demolished) and the interior of what is now the Hall of Duty. The group of photographs ends with two shots by Dino Zani from 1923-4, which show the frescoes in today’s Ladies’ Hall, of which only a few fragments can be made out. These prints are part of a shoot by Zani on the frescoes in the Ladies’ Hall, preserved at the Civico Archivio Fotografico di Milano. Like the other recently acquired photographs, they most likely come from Ambrogio Annoni’s personal archive. One of the two photographs does indeed bear the architect’s stamp, and the other a note on the back initialed “A.”, probably relating to the reproduction of the picture in a publication. The photographs further expand the rich photographic heritage of the Pirelli Foundation and constitute an important testimony to the life of the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, which the public can now discover and explore remotely through the virtual tour accessible from our website.

The Pirelli Foundation has recently acquired 25 photographs that offer a rare and fascinating look at the history of the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, the villa that was built in the second half of the fifteenth century, giving the district its name, and that is now part of the Pirelli Headquarters. The largest group of photographs shows the restoration work carried out on the villa in 1910 under the architect Ambrogio Annoni. In those days, the Bicocca was in a state of neglect: “… the traces of fifteenth-century architecture were buried beneath partitions and the doors and the windows and balconies of the farmhouse it had become”, recalled Annoni in 1922 in a publication devoted to the building. After the Arcimboldi family, the former owners, died out, the villa passed from hand to hand, until the early twentieth century, when it reached the Società Anonima Quartiere Industriale Nord Milano. This joint-stock company was set up in 1907 by the Pirelli and Ernesto Breda companies, together with some financial institutions, with the aim of managing the transformation of the agricultural area north of Milan into an industrial zone, and its first act was to acquire the land. The restoration work was started by SAQINM, in collaboration with the Soprintendenza ai Monumenti, as Annoni always recalled: “… we owe them the merit of not neglecting the historic building, and indeed of comprehending its artistic value with a breadth of ideas that we would not even have hoped for initially […] Along the avenue between Milan and Monza they planned to resurrect the Bicocca, with the Mirabello at the beginning of the district and the Torretta at the end.” The villa was in ruins, as we see in one of the photographs, which shows a woman posing in front of the portico, with rubble all around. Some pictures show the workers on scaffolding or arranging a column in the portico. Others, dated November 1910, show some of the details after restoration: the inside of the loggia, a window, and the clock. Another four photos taken in 1911 show the exterior of the villa (and in particular the east side, where there was a small chapel, later demolished) and the interior of what is now the Hall of Duty. The group of photographs ends with two shots by Dino Zani from 1923-4, which show the frescoes in today’s Ladies’ Hall, of which only a few fragments can be made out. These prints are part of a shoot by Zani on the frescoes in the Ladies’ Hall, preserved at the Civico Archivio Fotografico di Milano. Like the other recently acquired photographs, they most likely come from Ambrogio Annoni’s personal archive. One of the two photographs does indeed bear the architect’s stamp, and the other a note on the back initialed “A.”, probably relating to the reproduction of the picture in a publication. The photographs further expand the rich photographic heritage of the Pirelli Foundation and constitute an important testimony to the life of the Bicocca degli Arcimboldi, which the public can now discover and explore remotely through the virtual tour accessible from our website.

Multimedia

Images