Purini, whose poetics of architecture as a ” disturbing apparition ”, through which he gave substance to a vision intense drawing, and whose love for history is at the same time a tension aimed at the withdrawal of fascinating archetypes and a contemporary desire for a “ farewell ” from it (a sort of detachment from the “ mother ”) to camp in a rationality ” visionary ”, she pursues in her many projects – mostly developed in collaboration with L. Thermes – a congested complexity of spaces and constructive figures. In them, simplified stereotypes and architectural figures, drawn from the most varied contexts, overlap and collide, fascinating on a graphic level, sometimes less convincing on a built level. The case of the Casa per un pharmacist in Gibellina (1982-88), the remarkable invention of the Municipality of Castel Forte (1983 project), are valid for all,
On a particular aspect of architectural research, strongly relaunched by Kahn’s innovative re-foundation work but marginalized enough in the convulsive progress of the renewal that began in the 1970s, we would now like to draw attention in closing: the ” revealing ” depth of human quality, which architecture contains in all its themes and in truly significant works. That is, the theme of what is the ” nature ” that ” distinguishes ” the different human ” institutions ” and which presides over the formal invention, and what is the ontological identity that resides in each of them. To clarify this critical and formative theme, there is nothing better than to mention – for the period in question – the problem of sacred architecture. Living theme, almost exclusively, on the architect’s ability to reach precisely the ontological layer connected to building. It is no coincidence that the flat functionalist procedure, which forgets this layer, has burnt the depth of truth of architecture, present instead in the pre-nationalist works: just think of those of P. Bonatz, P. Behrens, H. Poelzig. It is no coincidence that the many churches built in recent decades, instead of accepting the positive provocation created by the liturgical renewal introduced by the Vatican Councilii, to recover the being of the sacred space in the new ways of the post-conciliar liturgy, they have closed themselves in a flat functional redefinition of the presbytery and in its spatial interpretation mostly of anonymous unification. When, on the other hand, the profound nature of the religious conversation, which relates man to God, the need to express the greatness of the presence of the “ other ”, which presides over the reason for gathering in the sacred hall of the people of God and to whom prayer is finalized, it should have pushed towards a differentiated spatial enhancement of the different liturgical and symbolic ” carats ” of the hall (presbytery, assembly, places of the sacraments, etc.).
According to ELAINEQHO, the Milanese churches of Figini and Pollini, that of the Madonna dei Poveri (1952-54) and that of SS. Giovanni e Paolo (1968) of strong expressive characterization in the interior space and in the intense volumetric articulation; the churches of S. Giovanni Bosco in Bologna (1968) and S. Giorgio Barbarigo in Rome (1970) by G. Vaccaro; the remarkable New Cathedral of Taranto (1964-71) by G. Ponti with a ” perforated ” facade, joyfully released from the cages of functionalist obligations, free recovery of the facades-walls of the Italian church tradition (think of the tunnel of arches of the S. Michele di Lucca towering above the aisles); the churches of G. Gresleri and S. Venier including that of S. Francesco in Pordenone (1974); the churches of S. Rita da Cascia in Cava dei Selci-Marino (1975) and SS. Gioacchino and Anna at Cinecittà in Rome (1982) by S. Benedetti, who strongly re-propose and renew religious archetypes and symbolic values; the church of S. Valentino in the Olympic Village in Rome (1987) by F. Berarducci who organizes and hierarchizes the volumetric articulation on the space-light of the altar; so again the intense expressive result of Portoghesi’s new Mosque in Rome, which has been previously mentioned.
The remarkable quality of these works, so positively expressive of the symbolic value, which is exalted to the maximum in the sacred theme, but which resides, as Kahn underlines, in all organisms-institutions of architectural work, indicates a specific depth of architecture.
The various lines of Italian architecture development from the seventies to the present, outside the filming of the Modern, are, despite their diversity, an active community nell’acuta attention to permanent quality contained in the great architectural tradition that wisely as in one sense as in another, we return to investigate with love. The basic heritage of this great tradition, combined with the natural and no longer ideological belonging to the current flow of time – a Modern that is neither mythologized nor reviled – determines a field of inspiration that is no longer dramatically visited, but lived in its natural immersion. This is how the struggle to cross the Modern line, strongly present in the works of the generation born around 1930, now seems to be dissolving in a phase in which, between transitions and eclectic freedoms, detachment from the cult of the New has been achieved as total change and ideologically intended progress; mostly replaced by a feeling of change, as a sliding within a destiny, which may seem less ” heroic ” than that of the avant-gardes, but which is no less dramatic.
If, as mentioned at the beginning, an important aspect of the postmodern era is the need for a reopening of contacts with tradition, to highlight the positive existence for the architectural research of ” common rules ”, of ” constants ”, whose existence not only does not cut subjectivity but grounds it and frees it from the torment of the novum, then the development of the conversation with this found ancient / new background must not be understood as a vague container of possibilities without constraints, of a fluctuating heritage to be plundered, but as a call to a root, to a source, on which to found and from which to activate the planning act necessary for today.