Style - Civilisation

Following four initial editions, the fifth Triennale di Milano opened on 10 May 1933. It was the first to be organised under the auspices of the newly created Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), after being recognised on 27 October 1932.

Architecture was the protagonist of this edition of the Triennale, under the influence of the Italian Government of the time, which focused on modern architecture and figurative art, with an extensive series of murals and sculptures coordinated by Mario Sironi. The majority of international participants contributed to the Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts, which was relegated to a secondary role.

Triennale di Milano 1933 was the first edition to take place in the newly built Pallazzo dell’Arte, designed by Giovanni Muzio. Various parts of the building were decorated by the best of Italian artists, including Massimo Campigli, Carlo Carrà, Felice Casorati, Giorgio de Chirico, Achille Funi, Marino Marini, Arturo Martini and Gino Severini.

The fifth Triennale also marked the beginning of a custom: the utilisation of the Parco Sempione as an open-air museum, with the erection of 40 temporary constructions. Overlooking them all was a permanent structure – Gio Ponti’s Torre Littoria, which has since been renamed Torre Branca. The majority of the temporary buildings were designed by rationalist architects. Overall, the exhibition was a reflection of modern European architecture and of Italian Rationalism, recognised by the Italian Government of the era as the technical and cultural vanguard of the national modernisation process.