It was built for residential purposes in the area
between via Montenapoleone and the city walls
at Porta Venezia that was later to become the
home of the Milano fashion industry but the designated
use of the building was changed in the Fifties. Major
restoration work, completed in 1999, eliminated the
incongruous additions that had been made to the
building and repaired the damage accumulated over
years of abandonment. The building has been given
listed status by the Lombardy Region’s Environmental
and Architectural Heritage Superintendent’s Office. The
building is constructed on a "U" base with the central
part facing Via del Senato and the two lateral wings
facing the internal courtyard. Vertically, there are five
floors above ground, including the attic, and another
partly below ground level.
The solemn, high porticoed entrance hall is striking
with its four columns in Brembate stone and mosaic
stone slab floor from which the monumental staircase
in Champo marble and finely wrought floral motif
banister rises. The walnut boiserie of the elevator and
of the porter’s lodge illustrates the careful attention
given to detail in the design as well as the technical
virtuosity achieved by local craftsmen at the turn of the
20th century.

 

In his design for the façade, the architect Alfredo
Campanini, originally from Emilia but Milanese by
adoption, was clearly influenced by the nearby Palazzo
Castiglioni in corso Venezia, which was built in 1903 by
Giuseppe Sommaruga and is the building that marked
the advent of the Liberty style in Milano prior to its
ephemeral triumph at the International Exposition of
1906.

 

In spite of the planimetric irregularity of the building
caused by the shape of the plot, the façade is strictly
symmetrical with three rows of windows on the two
sides and a centrally positioned main entrance. The
rich variety of ornamental floral mouldings upset the
surface perspective but the regular concentration
around the windows, balconies and main structural
features create a striking chiaroscuro effect and give
them dramatic prominence.

 

The exemplary harmony between the simplicity of the
building itself and the ornamental exuberance make
Palazzo Baratti one of the most important examples of
Liberty style in Milano.

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