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At the Attrezzeria Negroni, artistic trades return to the heart of Milan

Next to the archive of etched rollers and moulds stands a brightly lit open space made to hold meetings and events

A multi-purpose space, a company archive, a cultural hub for the artistic trades. Three clues, as Agatha Christie once said, make proof. And if we restrict our search to Milan, there is only one place that can hold events, workshops and exhibitions all under the same roof in an innovative context with atmosphere and an industrial style. We are talking about the Attrezzeria Negroni, a space near the Politecnico university, located in an area of Milan where dozens of factories and workshops mushroomed after World War II. It was here that, in 1958, Edoardo Negroni opened a small company that was destined to produce marvels, delicately engraved by burin. Today, having lost its original function, the Attrezzeria opens back up to the public under a new guise, doubled: an Archive, and a Space. Furthermore, thanks to the meticulous arrangement of the interior spaces, the location can now host shootings, conferences and exhibitions. And to present its new look to the public, it will host an Open Day on March 2nd.

Lo Spazio is a large light-filled open space that occupies the former entrance, and features a ramp that was once used by the employees to get to the tooling department. The industrial style is guaranteed by elements such as the exposed ductwork, the resin floors and the dark metal window frames. The space is lit by track lighting hung three meters above ground, a choice made to keep the space flexible, especially for museum exhibitions. The absence of fixed structures makes the space extremely adaptable, so that it can seat up to 60 people, 30 per workgroup, with standing room for 60. This way the space can host a wide range of events: from presentations to company meetings, from lectures to showrooms.

L’Archivio, the archive, is the second soul of the Attrezzeria Negroni. It is located at the back of the open space, behind a large glass wall that reveals the moulds, rolling mills and tools from the historic factory. It thus appears as a discrete but evocative presence that brings character to the space, and serves to bridge the old and new functions. The aim of renovating this area was to launch it as a sort of “reservoir” for artistic trades in Milan. There is a project currently underway to enhance the heritage of the archive, with the purpose of opening it up to an audience of specialists or merely fans.

A journey among puncheons, moulds for silverware and etched rollers used over the years to create objects that continue to inspire handcrafting from Arabic, African and Latin American countries.

You can already make reservations to visit this section of the Attrezzeria, for a tour through puncheons, moulds for making silverware and etched rollers used over the years to create objects that continue to inspire handcrafting from Arabic, African and Latin American countries. There are also many references to the history of twentieth-century Italian industry. Among the many metal tags that were produced over the years, particularly worthy of note are the ones made for Italian automotive brands such as Iveco, Bianchi, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Piaggio. Not to mention international brands such as Telefunken and Westinghouse.


translation by Olga Barmine

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