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Gae Aulenti

Italian, 1927-2012

The Italian architect and designer Gae Aulenti will forever be best remembered for her work with museums, in particular her 1980–86 renovation of a Beaux Arts Paris train station to create the galleries of the Musée d’Orsay. Aulenti — whose first name, short for Gaetana, is pronounced “guy” — should also be recalled for her tough intellectual spirit and for working steadily when few women found successful architectural careers in postwar Italy.

After she graduated from the Milan Polytechic in 1954, Aulenti opened an architectural office. She also joined the staff of the progressive architectural magazine Casabella, whose editorial line was that the establishment, orthodox modernism of Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus, had outlived it usefulness. When their movement for fresh approaches to architecture and design received a sympathetic hearing, Aulenti found patrons — most prominently Gianni Agnelli, of Fiat, who later employed her to renovate the Palazzo Grassi in Venice for use as an arts exhibition space.

Commissions for showrooms and other corporate spaces brought Aulenti to furniture design. She felt that furniture should never dominate a room. Her chairs and sofas — low-slung, with rounded enameled metal frames and ample seats — and tables, particularly her 1972 marble Jumbo coffee table for Knoll, project solidity and sturdiness. In lighting design, however, Aulenti is bravura.

Each work has a marvelous sculptural presence. Pieces such as her Pipistrello table lamp and Quadrifoglio pendant are a perfect marriage of organically shaped glass and high-tech fixtures. Others have a futuristic elegance — and some even have a touch of personality. Aulenti’s Pileino and La Ruspa table lamps each look almost like little robots. Her lighting pieces are an artful grace note in the career of a woman who believed in strength.

Find vintage Gae Aulenti armchairs, coffee tables and other furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$4,234
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Materials
Related Creators
Iconic Designs from Gae Aulenti
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Jumbo Coffee Table
Jumbo Coffee Table
Pileino Lamp
Pileino Lamp
Sgarsul Rocker
Sgarsul Rocker
Gae Aulenti Pipistrello Lamp
Gae Aulenti Pipistrello Lamp
Sistema Trepiù Floor Lamp by Gae Aulenti & Livio Castiglioni for Stilnovo Italy
By Gae Aulenti
Located in Buggenhout, Oost-Vlaanderen
Rare & stunning Mid-Century "Sistema Trepiù" floor lamps. Collector item! Designed by Gae Aulenti & Livio Castiglioni for Stilnovo Italy in 1972. These iconic floor lamps are signe...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Gae Aulenti

Materials

Chrome

Living Room Sets Gae Aulenti for Knoll 1970s Black Grey Italian Style
By Gae Aulenti
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Living Room Sets Gae Aulenti for Knoll 1970s Black Grey
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gae Aulenti

Materials

Metal

Italian Modernist "Pileino" Table Lamp by Gae Aulenti for Artemide
By Gae Aulenti, Artemide
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Petite "Pileino" table lamp designed by Italian architect and designer, Gae Aulenti for Artemide in 1972 for an Italian design exhibition at MoMa, New York. Stylish and practical wit...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gae Aulenti

Materials

Metal, Enamel

Pair of wall lamps by Gae Aulenti and Livio Castiglioni for Stilnovo, 1970s
By Gae Aulenti, Livio Castiglioni, Stilnovo
Located in Rotterdam, NL
Pair swiveling spots made of chromed metal designed by Gae Aulenti and Livio Castiglioni for Stilnovo in the 1970s. The spots can also be used as ceiling lamps. The spots or project...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gae Aulenti

Materials

Metal, Aluminum

Vintage Chromed Wall Sconces, Gae Aulenti and Livio Castiglioni Stilnovo, 1970s
By Gae Aulenti, Livio Castiglioni, Stilnovo
Located in Ceglie Messapica, IT
Rare Chromed Wall Sconces designed by italian design legends Gae Aulenti and Livio Castiglioni for Stilnovo in the 1970 's. Chromed aluminium body with blck metal light frame and s...
Category

1970s Italian Space Age Vintage Gae Aulenti

Materials

Metal, Aluminum, Chrome

Gae Aulenti, Set of 3 "Orsay" Armchairs for Knoll International, 1970s
By Gae Aulenti, Knoll
Located in Paris, FR
Nice set of 3 "Orsay" armchairs designed by Gae Aulenti produced by Knoll International in Italy. Circa 1970s. New upholstery. Dark brown lacquered metal feet. Good vintage conditio...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gae Aulenti

Materials

Metal

White Pipistrello Table Lamp by Gae Aulenti for Martinelli Luce
By Gae Aulenti, Martinelli Luce
Located in Lasne, BE
White lamp in metal and plastic by Gae Aulenti. Adjustable in height min: 70cm max: 90cm Stamped under the lamp.
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Gae Aulenti

Materials

Metal

Gae Aulenti set of two lounge chairs 1960s.
By Poltronova, Gae Aulenti
Located in bari, IT
Set of two lounge chairs from the Locus Solar series by Gae Aulenti for Poltronova late 1960s.
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gae Aulenti

Materials

Metal

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Creators Similar to Gae Aulenti

More Gae Aulenti Designs
Jumbo Coffee Table
Jumbo Coffee Table
Average Price
$17,322
Number Available
14
Jumbo Coffee Table
By Gae Aulenti
Materials
Marble, Stone, Carrara Marble
Styles
Mid Century Modern
The Jumbo coffee table was more than just a piece of furniture to Gae Aulenti (1927–2012). As a participant in Italy’s Neo-Liberty movement in the late 1950s, she rejected the omnipresent Bauhaus modernist aesthetic and instead chose to create pieces that exemplified her taste for classical design with a modern edge. The Jumbo coffee table, with its opulent marble top and sculpted column legs, epitomized Aulenti's approach. Weighing nearly 450 pounds, the table is unquestionably heavy yet it ...
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Pileino Lamp
Pileino Lamp
Average Price
$2,996
Number Available
7
Pileino Lamp
By Gae Aulenti
Materials
Metal
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Sgarsul Rocker
Sgarsul Rocker
Average Price
$3,193
Number Available
6
Sgarsul Rocker
By Gae Aulenti
Materials
Animal Skin, Leather, Wood
Styles
Mid Century Modern
Shop All
Gae Aulenti Pipistrello Lamp
Gae Aulenti Pipistrello Lamp
Average Price
$3,881
Number Available
5
Gae Aulenti Pipistrello Lamp
By Gae Aulenti
Materials
Metal, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Copper
Styles
Mid Century Modern, Modern
Like the animal for which it is named, Gae Aulenti’s 1965 Pipistrello, which means “bat” in Italian, is a lamp that’s both graceful and skeletal. With its translucent shade and telescopic stem, the Pipistrello merges art and engineering. Designing her iconic lamp wasn’t Aulenti’s only project at the time; she was also teaching at the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan and running her architecture practice, which she founded in 1954.In addition to architecture, Aulen...
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Gae Aulenti furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Gae Aulenti furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Gae Aulenti furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 220 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 41 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Gae Aulenti were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Tommaso Barbi, Toni Zuccheri, and Luigi Caccia Dominioni. Prices for Gae Aulenti furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $540 and can go as high as $33,395, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $3,894.

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