Atlas Ville Colombo

Via IV Novembre, Cantù
1932, 1936
Asnago Vender Architetti

Foto di Jacopo Valentini

The three houses were built for the brothers of the Colombo family: Villa Egidio and Villa Giuseppe Colombo date from 1932, and the third, Villa Ercole Colombo, from 1936. These were the second works created in the architects’ professional career, in which they experimented with some of the stylistic and typological expedients that would characterise their future architecture. The three single units form a development which was originally planned to include a common garden. At present, two villas remain visible and in good condition, while the third, set back to the east from the access road, has been substantially altered.

The houses have pitched roofs with four planes and overhanging eaves. In the two preserved buildings we can see shared features such as the orientation, the alignment of the west front, the raised entrance towards the street, the balconies projecting towards the garden, the horizontal windows, the circulation system located to the north and the plastered facades. On the street side the buildings are more hermetic and discreet, while on the opposite side they open out with balconies, verandas and steps leading to the garden, designed in detail with driveways and footpaths laid with cobbles and gravel. The fences contribute to the design of the exterior and give greater unity to the complex. The constructional elements, albeit traditionally inspired, are enriched by a minimalist and innovative design with new solutions, such as the prefabricated reinforced concrete eaves, sash windows, full-height doors and windows and vertical windows with glass louvres that can be opened on the stairs.The interiors, characterised by a series of modern features combined with traditional elements, are laid out in a spatial sequence with a Palladian matrix: passages aligned in axis in keeping with the enfilade principle give access to rooms set side by side.