Italy Architecture 3

Italy Architecture Part 3


According to TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA, the case of G. Samonà and L. Quaroni are valid for all. Samonà, with his son Alberto, in the Bank of Italy in Padua (1971) defines the two main facades by exposing two different formal languages: rationalist in the one on the Riviera Tito, ” quotationist ” in the other, on the line of monumental endings with merlons neo-medieval buildings of the Bologna Enpas palace of S. Muratori (1955); subsequently in the Municipality of Gibellina (1980) it re-introduces the motif of the ” battlements ” in a less historicistic and more simplified meaning, in line with the monumental volumetric treatment of the Theater of Sciacca (1974-79), suspended between volumetric abstraction and dimensional expressiveness.

Even more clearly Quaroni, certainly one of the most culturally committed Italian architects, participated with Muratori and F. Fariello in the first rationalist season and then in the classical declination, which this season gave the young rationalists of the thirties. Undisputed protagonist of the Roman area after the war and beyond, present in fundamental works (project of the Competition for Termini Station, Tiburtino II district), a particularly fascinating figure for the tormenting problematicism with which he lived and crossed the time of the Modern, in the last his prestigious performance – the renovation of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (1986) – suddenly takes charge of postmodern tensionsand thus recovers a contact with the proposals of the classicist season of EUR (1938), proposing himself as a ” great eclectic ” through a real ” style ” design cycle, during which he reaches, in the definitive project for the Opera di Roma, a high-sounding columnar portico, a suggestion of sure visual impact.

Among the other protagonists, the cases of high results of Albini in the Terme di Salsomaggiore (1971) still hold true, in which the theme of string courses and marcadavanzali is vividly re-proposed; by C. Scarpa in the Brioni Tomb (1975), in which the volume echoes the theme of death ” dissolving ” in the stepped ” molding ”; of Gardella in the urban arrangements in stone with two-colored bands made in Genoa (1972-79), which wisely interpret the genius loci ; finally Aulenti.

Leaving aside other references to the architects who marked the transition from the Fifties to the Seventies, it is appropriate to briefly develop the story closest to us. It can be summarized as follows.

A first sector collects the work of those who in some way continue the lesson of rationalism; next to which is placed, as its counter-face, the work of those who refer to Expressionist poetics. Which now, in a completely different context from that of the Roaring Years of Expressionism, reduces the original poetics of ” epochal ” protest into the prevailing space of psychological tension and the formal circuit of gestural and congested expressiveness.

On the front of the exit from the Modern the panorama is particularly varied. A group of architects finds themselves in the bed of the poetics of classicism, as a consequence of the strong suggestion that the stability and univocity of the classical code exert, but with such diversifications as to articulate it at least in three different shades: of a severe ” archetypal classicism ”, of a ” logical ” minimalist classicism, of a ” historicistic ” classicism. Other architects then develop, alongside the myth of classicism, a different attention to the multiple richness of the heritage deposited by architectural history, outside the few “ happy islands ” of classicism. Among these, some propose the relationship between tradition and innovation, freely rooting the new on the ” genius loci that ” lives ” there. While others, especially among the architects of the last generations, while active in the line of ” end of prohibition ” towards historical recovery, do not particularly problematize the platform or the recovered ” fathers ” and move with ” lightness ” ‘within the new multiform horizon of rationalism, classicism, historicism, localism, the vernacular: beyond the modernity-tradition threshold. Even though the risk of a hedonistic eclecticism hangs over them.

Within the schematic picture outlined above, it is now worthwhile to mention some of the most significant works and presences.

In the first place on the front of continuity with rationalism; this is a theme that has not been explicitly dealt with in the previous columns because it characterizes the decades that have just passed and because the proprium of the present time is its problematization and removal. On a level of reflection and development, starting from the first rationalist season, the work of GU Polesello arises, of which the single-family house in Riva d’Arcano (1970-73), close to the ways of the New Yorkers Five Architects is relevant. ; to which must be added the organization of the Market in S. Michele al Tagliamento (1977-80), effective in its severe simplicity. Less problematic, but seriously linked to the rationalist season, is the production of C. Melograni, often active in collaboration with L. Benevolo and T. Giuralongo. Studio Passarelli has taken on considerable importance in terms of extension and professional recognition: among the many results, the winning project of the International Competition for the Acropolis Museum in Athens (1990), developed by M. Nicoletti and L. Passarelli.

Italy Architecture 3