On the front of what can be defined as the ” dark ” side of Modern, that of architectural expressionism, some important personalities should be noted. In the early 1960s G. Michelucci – a leading figure in 20th century Italian architecture – arrived at a gesturality of spatial ” magic ” with the exalted naturalistic spatiality of the Chiesa dell’Autostrada in Florence (1967), by San Marino (1961-67) and Longarone (1978), which marked a clear break with its previous architectures; in which some of the most important achievements, in the 1950s, of the Italian line of continuity between modernity and tradition had taken shape. The sign of that rupture reaches the headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena in Colle Val d’Elsa (1983) where an unresolved tension emerges, which disconnects the unity of the organism, between the constructive theme of heavy masonry and the elastic and light iron structure. Ultimately, Michelucci’s experiences are as stimulating in their plastic and formal values as they are questionable, especially in sacred architecture, due to the expressive and symbolic truth of the theme.
Alongside Michelucci another notable presence on the Florentine scene moves: L. Ricci. Which, continuing the research of the sixties, in the last completed its construction, the award-winning Palazzo di Giustizia of Savona (1987), achieved the greatest result. His expressive way brings into play a particular mixture of procedures of ” destruction ” and the decomposition of volumes and of the organism of neo-plastic derivation, anticipating recent ” deconstructive ” modalities, and violent opposition of the single ” pieces. resulting: whether they are ” main ” elements of the load-bearing structure or ” secondary ” elements of the closures or walls.
According to COUNTRYVV, a character of particular evidence in the small Italian expressionist group is G. Canella, already since the late fifties engaged, with M. Achilli and D. Brigidini, in the line of neoliberty Milanese. Canella’s search, aimed at the goal of a ” hard ” expressiveness, almost an ” inability ” to a cordial conversation, to ” conquer harmony ”, after the first searches by the Municipality of Segrate (1966), whose figure remains suspended between the fluidity of the enveloping volumetric system and the expressive accentuations of the ” column ” closing body, in the Civic Center and above all in the Municipality of Pieve Emanuele (1971-80) achieves remarkable results, of a volumetric hardness violent and shocking. In them a provocative expressive aggressiveness emerges, which mainly uses – unlike Ricci’s decomposing method – the jarring contrast without connection between volumes and / or volumetric systems;
On a line of expressive accentuation, C. Aymonino and AL Rossi move. Rossi’s worth mentioning are the congested volumes of the Casa del Portuale in the Port of Naples (1968-80) and the residential building in via Pontirossi, also in Naples (1986), with resonant plastic effects. Di Aymonino, active in Rome since the 1950s in significant urban operations together with Ridolfi and Quaroni, should be noted the decisive result of the Monte Amiata residential complex in the Gallaratese district in Milan (1967-74) and that of the Pesaro school campus (1976), in which he finds complex cadences but of convincing expressiveness; while in the latest constructions and projects he calibrates the innate enthusiasm in formulations more connected to the quality of the site. Among the latter, the intense project for the Mestre Hospital (1981-86) should be highlighted,
A place apart – with respect to both the positions reported so far and those of ” after the Modern ” – is occupied by the architecture of G. Valle; not forgotten author in the 1950s of that house in Sutrio near Udine (1953-54), which represents a creative development of rural pillared architecture in the Po Valley, enhanced by a protective hipped roof: cornerstone for various developments in the following years. Among these we should mention the Cooperative ” La Conca d’Oro ” in Ariccia di S. Benedetti and G. Miarelli (1975): here the original inspiration, declined with volumetric rotations and pulsating coordination, is developed through the grafting with the Lazio archetypes of the large aerial loggia and external stairs. Valle’s research in the subsequent thermal establishment of Arto Terme (1963) and in the office building in via Mercato Vecchio in Udine (1965), develops a shrewd availability and ways that seek an active connection with the characters of the site. More recently, in the residential district of Giudecca in Venice (1986), the connection operation is built above all on the cadences of the Venetian urban morphology, neglecting the typological re-examination; while in the renovation of the building for the Banca Commerciale Italiana in Manhattan (1981-82) and in the office building at the Défense in Paris (1984-88) it resists the mythology of the glittering, obsessive walls typical of the buildings of the modernist tertiary sector. In particular in New York he reformulates, ” he continues ” by ” analogy ”, the characters of
On the front of experiences external to the architecture of Modern the picture is particularly complex. The leader of archetypal classicism, his conscious processor from his earliest works – from the not forgotten Monument to the Resistance in Segrate (1965) – is A. Rossi. The formative force of which, activated on the lesson of A. Loos rediscovered through G. De Finetti as “the last classic and the only classic of our age”, lies – we believe – in the ability to creatively deduce from the classical repertoire sober basal archetypes, subjected to a process of severe simplification. Emblematized just enough, as well as the abstracting operation would dry up the expressive potential, then relaunched in typological contexts and in different formal connections. The recovery of these archetypes, welcomed in their formal flagrance, it goes beyond the simple quotation and manages for the most part to relaunch – except for moments of creative fall – a new essentiality; which often uses, to qualify the new figures, a figural tone of particular ” estrangement ”. In this line, notable expressive results are achieved in the works of the last period: from the Modena Cemetery (begun in 1971, under construction), to the elementary school of Fagnano Olona (1976), to the Teatro del Mondo per Venezia (1979), at the Broni Middle School (1981), very remarkable in the axialized rhythm of the volumes increasing towards the large central octagon. And again in the ” Casa Aurora ” office complex in Turin (1987), so concise and expressive at the same time in the turreted force of the corner, in which engraves a monumental columnar order, a harbinger of developments in the Kochstrasse residential complex in Berlin (1987); or finally in the remarkable result of the Centro Torri in Parma (1988).