BBPRis the acronym that indicates the group of Italian architects formed in 1932 by:
- Gian Luigi Banfi
- Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso
- Enrico Peressutti
- Ernesto Nathan Rogers
Graduated from the Polytechnic of Milan, the four designers in their initial works follow the themes of Italian rationalism of the thirties, even if they are not an integral part of the main movement "Group 7" and MIAR, they collaborate for some projects with Figini and Pollini; these compositional canons are clearly visible in an exemplary building such as the heliotherapy colony of Legnano (1938), where they also build popular housing units, the so-called working-class district Le Grazie (1940-1942).
They are distinguished by various urban plans, the Pavia town plan (1932), the Elba Island tourist plan (1939), and above all for the most important and far-reaching plan of the Aosta Valley (1936-1937). . In this period they actively participated in the controversy that arose between rationalists and traditionalists and at first, like others, they believed they could support the battle for freedom of expression and for the triumph of modern architecture within fascism, but later the introduction of the racial laws of 1938 that also affect one of their collaborators, the architects of the BBPR embrace the values of the Resistance.
The vicissitudes of the war lead Rogers to flee to Switzerland and Banfi to take an active part in the Resistance and to die in the Gusen extermination camp in 1945. Belgiojoso is also deported to Gusen, but manages to survive the imprisonment of the camp and return to Italy afterwards. the liberation, by the allied troops, of the Nazi concentration camp. This strong grip and compromise in the war of the components of the studio is manifested in the work of the studio, after the end of the conflict, with an emblematic work such as the monument to the dead in the German concentration camps in Milan in the Monumental Cemetery (1946) which was also one of the first projects of the BBPR studio. Suspended in the center of the matrix of white pipes, a mess tin contains dirt from the Gusen extermination camp. The black and white marble panels speak of martyrdom, persecution, justice and freedom. Around the monument eight tombstones bear the names of Milanese who died in the concentration camps.
Meanwhile, their rationalism had been affected by the expressive changes typical of the last Le Corbusier and their approach to the themes of brutalism read by many critics, alongside other neo-liberty interpretations, in what many consider their greatest work, the Torre Velasca in Milan ( 1958).