National Balilla Opera (ONB) is established in 1926 over the contribution of some young artists aimed to the Italian architectural culture renovation; during the Entity’s 11 years long life, nearly in any Italian city is built a ONB’s House, equipped with spaces and services for the Italian Youth’s physical and moral education’s assistance.
It is a precious construction realized during the years 1934-35 upon a plan by architect Mario Cereghini (Lecco 1903 – Madesimo 1966). Cereghini was an architect born in Lecco, and was a graphic expert, painter and leading representative of the Lombard Rationalism School.
The building we are talking about represents one the most coherent constructions of the new architectural concepts in the town of Milano, which, in that period, were strictly related to the political party’s ideology.
The composition of the filled and empty spaces, mainly evidenced in the expression of the front walls- gives the whole building a great respectability and maturity. This is emphasized by its’ technical and material characteristics with regular interconnection of crossbars and pillars in reinforced concrete with external façade covered in brick.
The official documentation states: “Considering the important function that this building will assume, it is necessary that it shows a special decorative expression. It uses for its different fronts, some litoceramic and terracotta materials with finishing touches of various marbles, crystals and bright metals. The large windows of the staircase will be in cementglass. Special care should be given to the trimming of windows and doorframes. These will have to be painted in light pastel colours. It is important to mention the possible application of crystals replacing the current balustrades of the arcades. The upper cover will have to be with a roof garden.”
Beside the main entrance, on the wall at the end of the elevated arcade, painter Dal Parto realized a painting relating to the building’s purpose. Unfortunately, it can no longer be seen today.
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National Balilla Opera
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