Italy Architecture Part III
Moreover, Italian architects have generally measured themselves with difficulties of this kind, after realizing that to cope with a massive urbanization it was not enough to refer to the traditions of minor building and that the relationship between old and new parts of city was to be placed in broader and more complex terms than those exemplified by the controversy ignited by FL Wright’s project for a small building on the Grand Canal. The two problems are intertwined in the theme of a competition that was launched precisely for Venice, to design a large settlement (not completed) on the border between the mainland and the lagoon in view of the city, and which marked a stage in the story of the our architecture. Two solutions were conspicuously remarkable; in a S. Muratori, insulae, while another group led by Quaroni designed four large crescent-shaped buildings, emerging above a tiny building, open to contemplate the almost magical image of Venice towards the horizon. Less contrasting than they appeared at first glance, because both moved away from the main axis of the most demanding contemporary European research, i.e. from the study of the typology of interventions of intermediate size between the building and the large-scale urban arrangement, in those two projects it is not risky to trace the principle of those events which prompted A. Rossi to pursue the recovery of values lost in the architecture of the city or which induced others to incorporate a sum of interventions into a single project of an unusual size, such as that of V. Gregotti, F. Purini and others for the University of Calabria, or like that for the Corviale residential complex, the work of a very large group headed by Fiorentino, under construction in Rome. If we consider that in the Venetian project Quaroni decided to entrust the execution of the large dominant buildings to private initiative, leaving the rest to public bodies, with a reversal of roles reaffirmed by the participants in numerous competitions for business centers, in that choice we they feel the presentiment of the contraction of state and municipal interventions – one of the few neighborhoods built since then is Spinaceto in Rome by N. Di Cagno, P. Moroni and others – and the skepticism about the lack of urban planning reform.
According to HEALTHVV, these general conditions have kept the design method and the results of technological progress experienced in the activity carried out in direct contact with industrial production from extending to a wider scope, as regards both the design of mass-produced objects, to which several architects they have successfully applied both the spatial organization of work environments and related services. In both types of activity, M. Zanuso, a designer of home and school furnishings, of sewing machines, telephones, radio and television sets, of factories, such as the Olivetti factories in Brazil and Argentina, the latter especially notable. A. Fiocchi, A. Galardi, GL devoted particular attention to industrial constructions Giordani, Italy Malaguzzi Valeri, Sgrelli, E. Vittoria, M. Zaffagnini and others, among which A. Mangiarotti and B. Morassutti must be remembered, also because they have managed to use typical solutions of industrial architecture in buildings of other kinds., respectively in the church of Baranzate and in a villa on the Sorrento peninsula. Taking up indications from projects made for industry appeared more normal in the case of buildings that are quite similar, such as the pavilions for the Bologna Fair by L. Benevolo, T. Giura Longo and C. Melograni or the Gregotti supermarket in the Milanese suburbs; and on the borders between architecture and industrial design took place the setting up of the Milan underground stations that Albini and Helg were able to make welcoming using very simple elements and in which they masterfully showed how to make popular architecture suitable for industrial production.
Overall, however, designing for industry has been a specific and rather separate sector of work. A character among the most constantly and vividly present in the architectural field, G. Samonà, who with his writings and teaching, constructions and projects (for several years in collaboration with his son Alberto) has not missed opportunities to intervene by giving a original contribution, he built two very remarkable thermoelectric power plants in Sicily, which represent a distinct aspect of his multifaceted activity, oriented towards other solutions already in the Palermo headquarters of the same electricity company, and even more in buildings built in Messina, Venice, Treviso, Padua and in the drawings for the Venetian and Roman competitions, for the National Library and for the extension of the Montecitorio offices.