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Corsini & Wiskemann / Spinnaker 1969

The vertical configural development creates the aesthetic form, the bending of the softly caressed and swelling sheet metal evokes that of the wide curved surface of the forward sail: Spinnaker is the name of the lamp, borrowed perhaps casually, from nautical terminology. When the fixture, even before being used a light source, is placed in a domestic environment as sculpture, it is a certainly unique, important presence. Designed in 1968, the object still retains the charm of its unique values, further defining itself after fifty years, as timeless. New graduates in architecture, Costantino Corsini and Giorgio Wiskemann started the professional studio bearing their names in 1956, resulting in the development of a collaboration that had in fact already been in place since university days. Active for a few years, along with founders, were both architects’ wives, Giuliana Grossi of Costantino and Yolanda Collamati of Giorgio. There were many areas of operational interest. Among the initial work, in 1959, the staging and furnishing of the main lobby and Auditorium of the Pirelli Tower in Milan. Competitions and, especially, staging of exhibitions and fairs, made up the main area of work for a long time, especially on behalf of Montecatini, Montedison.

Then in 1962, in collaboration with Gio Ponti, the Invitational international competition organized by the city of Linz in Austria, to design a musical arts centre in memory of the Austrian composer and organist Joseph Anton Bruckner. Examples include the installations for the European Community in Torino on the occasion of Italy 61 and, in 1965, at the XLIII° Fiera di Milano, Montecatini Pavilion with An All-chemistry House. The work received the Sole d’Oro, 1st prize for the best installation by the newspaper Sole 24 Ore.
In the 1960s, precisely ‘62 and ‘64, there were the single-family homes in Brugherio, Milan, and Villas in Carimate, Como.

Then began the distinctive and determinate commitment of the Association toward the design of industrial buildings. The INARCH Prize, intended for the best work of the year was awarded in 1966 to the Lever Gibbs architectural complex located at Casalpusterlengo. From here the new ways of understanding the siting of specific buildings, of creating landscape within the landscape. Highly representative, in colours and graphics, is the Dalmine complex, creating strong impact in terms of size and location along the Serenissima motorway.
Corsini and Wiskemann would realize over 100 industrial buildings in the country and abroad, especially in Latin America, consulting with the engineering company Techint. Because the specific all-encompassing commitment is marginal, although valuable and not wasted, the Industrial Design periods are of interest. A cutlery set from 1959, manufactured by Reed&Barton of Taunton, Mass, U.S.A., won the 2nd Prize in the Design Competition for Italy. In 1968, the year of Spinnaker, the installation at the XIV° Edition of the Milan Triennale is of note, where the environment is intended as a multifunctional space, lending itself to total usability, and the object that stands as universal furniture. Furniture that is not simply a piece of furniture, just as Spinnaker is, yes, a lamp, but not only a lamp. Both examples, although different in their particular valences, are able to give meaning to the environment. Codiceicona reissued the Spinnaker lamp in 2018, updating the premise, according to current regulations while guaranteeing absolute unique and unrepeatable formal identity.


Decio G.R. Carugati

Corsini & Wiskemann