Italy Architecture Part II
Above all it should be emphasized that the efforts to reconnect with the national tradition in Rome and in the South were based in particular on the rediscovery of almost folkloric motifs and relied on interventions promoted by public bodies while instead in the regions where the living conditions were less miserable and less precarious and where private initiative prevailed, they aimed to recover values of bourgeois culture, from neoclassicism to liberty. From this attitude were born works by L. Caccia Dominioni, V. Magistretti, R. Gabetti, A. d’Isola, G. Raineri, V. Gregotti, L. Meneghetti, G. Stoppino; the most striking manifestation was the velasca tower, the skyscraper designed in the center of Milan by the BPR studio – L. Belgiojoso, E. Peressutti, E. Rogers – with the memory turned to the images of the medieval city and with a tension to re-establish a continuity with the past that has remained constant in their work up to the recent works, such as the office building in Piazza Meda, also in Milan. Other works, in addition to those mentioned, by the same Gardella (the Venetian house at the Zattere) and Albini (from the Ina palace in Parma to the Rinascente in Rome) in lasting collaboration with F. Helg, have solicited a similar relationship towards the cultured tradition. Respectively with the Gallery of Modern Art in the Royal Villa in Milan and with the Genoese accommodations of Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Rosso and the treasury in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Gardella and Albini have made exemplary contributions in an area where the relationship between contemporary architecture and the legacy of the past has been placed in very narrow terms: the new system of museums. In this sector in which many architects have worked – from the BPR in the Castello Sforzesco to FL and V. Passarelli in the Vatican Museums – almost all the extraordinary activity of C. Scarpa has been concentrated, among other things he set up the first Italian exhibitions. of P. Klee and P. Mondrian and has rearranged the Abatellis palace in Palermo, the Correr museum and the Querini Stampalia library in Venice, the Castelvecchio in Verona, the Canovian plaster cast gallery in Possagno and, with Gardella and Michelucci, rearranged some rooms of the Uffizi.
In Tuscany, the original center of Renaissance architecture, a region in which agriculture has long retained a great deal of importance, the elements of crisis that the occurrence of rapid social and economic transformations has introduced into a design method have been able to verify with particular clarity. too tied to tradition. Here, against the criteria illustrated by Wright’s preaching, the resistance opposed in the name of a constructive rationality spread through the centuries even in the modest isolated buildings in the countryside, had its highest quality expression in a series of works by G. Michelucci, former group leader in 1933 of the winners of the competition for the Florence railway station in Santa Maria Novella, first example of a large building built according to new principles and at the same time architecturally (although not urbanistically) well integrated in an ancient city. In Pistoia a church and the Commodity Exchange (soon demolished to make way for a building designed by Michelucci himself), other churches in Larderello and Collina, a house in front of Palazzo Guicciardini and the hall of the savings bank in Florence, are all works supported by a design clarity that seems to have faded since the architect was called to design the church on the Autostrada del Sole, which was followed by an abandonment to irrational reasons confirmed by later works. Michelucci’s story was reflected in those of various ages who surrounded him. E. Detti, who was municipal councilor for town planning, and some who have collaborated with him in attempts to renew this sector – F. Di Pietro, A. Montemagni, P. Sica – are among the few to maintain continuity with the experiences prior to the “economic miracle”. The mistrust of the rational method has manifested itself in many others, in an exasperated search for new forms by L. Savioli and L. Ricci (who, however, probably made his best projects for a Waldensian community in Riesi in Sicily), in the acceptance of the prevalence of technological aspects by Italy Gamberini and PL Spadolini, in the eclecticism of M. Dezzi Bardeschi, in the futuristic fantasies of Superstudio and Archizoom.
According to HEALTHINCLUDE, the ineffectiveness of traditional design tools with respect to the problems posed by the expansion of industrial society had already revealed itself in those times when, in Florence itself, interventions on a larger scale than a single work had to be faced. To re-establish the connections destroyed by the retreating German troops across the Arno, the new Vespucci bridge, designed by E. and G. Gori, E. Nelli and R. Morandi, was happily integrated into the urban landscape, and the one at Santa Trinita it was remade exactly as it was and where it was with the loving and wise care of E. Brizzi and R. Gizdulich; on the other hand, the way of reconstructing the large building complexes that had been reduced to piles of rubble on the ends of the Ponte Vecchio to obstruct the passage could not be considered positive.