Gruppo 7 (1926)

Gruppo 7 was an architectural firm born in 1926, during the fascist regime in Italy. Fascism and Mussolini’s self-celebration propaganda deeply influenced new architecture as well as any other form of art and communication.

Gruppo 7 and Italian Rationalism

The story of Italian rationalism is made of groups, movements, much more than of architects and inventions. The most famous among these groups and studios was Gruppo 7, formed by Figini, Guido Frette, Sebastiano Larco, Gino Pollini, Carlo Enrico Rava, Giuseppe Terragni and Ubaldo Castagnoli (replaced by Adalberto Libera the year after).

The Gruppo 7’s manifesto contains some of the most important topics that underline the struggle of all interpreters of a “new architecture” in Italy, with new tecnologies whose purpose was the construction of a new way of conceiving buildings. The Gruppo 7 splits up giving birth to the MIAR (Movimento italiano per l’architettura razionale), the promoter of three Esposizioni italiane di architettura razionale.

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Image of Asilo Sant'Elia
Asilo Sant’Elia-Image source:

European Modernism

Modernism was all about efficiency, functionality, minimalism, and paying attention to architecture, it had the objective of making come true Mussolini’s plan to make Italy become a country full of productive industries. Architecture became an important tool for fascism and his propaganda.

It is a form of art all about minimalism, Modernism was the most important new style of architecture and design of the 20th century. It  is considered an analytical approach to the functionality, a rational use of materials, structural innovation and the embrace of the filosophy tha can be resumed as “ less s more”.

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La Casa Elettrica

Inspired by Giò Ponti this project was sponsored by the Italian General Edison Society of Electricity and built by Group 7, the “Electric House” was an example of home designed following the new concept of rational architecture to show the most modern electric appliances as a part of the architecture.

Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini finished it. From the planivolumetric setting it is possible to look at the extreme simplicity of this prototype of home and the affinity with the principles of Le Corbusier’s architecture. This can be seen looking at the ribbon window and the importance of internal and external spaces.

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Image of La Casa Elettrica
La Casa Elettrica-Image source:


Heritage In Lombardy can be seen many examples of rationalist architectures, later on this kind of buildings will pop up all over the country. Many signs of the importance of rationalism in our country remain even if rationalism, according to the experts, lasted a few years, until 1943. In Ivrea, Adriano Olivetti wanted Figini and Pollini to build the complex of the Officine ICO in Alessandria, Ignazio Gardella designed the Anti-tuberculosis dispensary in Milano while Pagano built one of the most important universities in the world, Bocconi University.

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