Raffaele Contigiani (1920–2008) was an Italian
architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that ha ...

and painter. He qualified as an architect in 1947 and designed pavilions for the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a consultant for the Italian television broadcaster RAI in the 1960s but is best known for his design for Hotel du Lac, Tunis, Hotel du Lac (1970–1973) in Tunis which he designed in the Brutalist architecture, brutalist style.

Early life

Contigiani was born in Turin in 1920. He served in the military during the Second World War and was a prisoner of war in Germany.Raffaele Contigiani.
Arab Center for Architecture. Retrieved 14 April 2019.


Contigiani qualified as an architect from the Faculty of Architecture at Rome in 1947. He designed buildings in Italy, Eastern Europe, and in North Africa. Among these were pavilions for the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Libya and Tunisia in the 1950s and three at the Zagreb trade fair in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was a consultant to the Italian television broadcaster RAI and with Mario de Renzi and Renato Avolio de Martino designed the :it:Auditorium Rai di Napoli, RAI Auditorium in Naples which was built between 1958 and 1963."Il recupero dell’ Auditorium RAI di Napoli"
Alessandro Pergoli Campanelli, ''L'Architetto Italiano'', II, 16, 2006, pp. 108-111.
Among his notable works is the Hotel du Lac in Tunis (1970–1974) which he designed in a brutalist style and has been seen as symbolic of the modernisation of Tunisia in the 1970s.
Kieron Monks, CNN, 25 March 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
Its distinctive shape has been described as the inspiration for the sandcrawler vehicle of the ''Star Wars'' films, as significant parts of the first trilogy were filmed in the country. However, British director and set designer Roger Christian (filmmaker), Roger Christian has said that the sandcrawler was designed by Ralph McQuarrie before ''Star Wars'' director George Lucas visited Tunisia. As of April 2019, the hotel is unoccupied and being considered for demolition.The mystery of Star Wars and Tunisia's rundown Brutalist hotel.
Neil Arun, BBC News, 10 April 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
Contigiani also painted scenes from prisoner of war camps in Germany and published a number of collections of his paintings.


Contigiani died in 2008.

Selected publications

* ''Ecologia e Urbanistica''. Edizioni Mediterranee, Rome, 1978. (Paintings) * ''Invito Alla Bici''. Edizioni Mediterranee, Rome, 1981. (Paintings)


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Contigiani, Raffaele 1920 births 2008 deaths Architects from Turin 20th-century Italian architects Brutalist architects Italian prisoners of war 20th-century Italian painters Painters from Turin