The Bronze Ear of Casa Sola-Busca in Milan, Italy
Sitting quietly among the early-modern buildings of Milan’s Zone of Silence neighborhood is the Casa Sola-Busca which would almost go unnoticed if it weren’t for the huge ear made of bronze jutting out next to the doorway.
The Zone of Silence is so named thanks to its location, tucked away from the main traffic of urban Milan, and it is filled with buildings that reflect the transition from traditional Middle Ages architecture into modernest design. The Casa Sola-Busca or as it is nicknamed the "Ca ‘de l’Oreggia or "House of the Ear" is one such building which is fairly classical in design but features the outstanding flourish of a large, ear-shaped arrival horn. Sculpted by master sculptor Adolfo Wildt and maestros Lucio Fontana and Luigi Brogginiin in 1930, the bronze auditory organ was used as we might use a doorbell with guests walking up and announcing themselves loudly right into the building’s ear, which was equipped with an early intercom.
The ear was still in use, long after its original creators vacated the building, but was finally stoppered after the modern tenants grew tired of curious passersby exclaiming all manner of things into the ear. However the formerly functional sculpture can still be visited today, just begging visitors to turn the Zone of Silence into a Zone of Loudness.