Italy Architecture Part IV
According to INSIDEWATCH, similar considerations may concern A. Olivetti, who, not being a designer but a head of industry, nevertheless played an important part in the Italian architecture of our time, both for having chaired the National Institute of Urban Planning for a long time, and for having given assignments for town planning, industrial and administrative buildings, shops, services and homes for workers, drawings of machines and office furniture to many designers, from Figini and Pollini to Cosenza, from BBPR to Ridolfi, from Gardella to Quaroni, from M. Nizzoli to E. Sottsass, addressing them in a contradictory way depending on whether it was a question of working in direct contact with production, or for ancillary services or finally for independent initiatives. The industry has made available new technical solutions, the use of which, however, has not developed sufficiently, and has instead been limited to particular cases, especially those of offices and organizations that required prestigious locations, as designed by P. Barucci, M. Bega, GA Bernasconi, L. and PG Castiglioni, P. Lingeri, G. Minoletti, the Monti, E. Montuori, M. Olivieri, the Passarelli, E. Zacchiroli. Even futuristic projects or in any case characterized by the design of unprecedented forms – such as those of M. Sacripanti or M. D’Olivo, L. Pellegrin or G. Canella – rather than assimilate they seem to contest the proposals and prospects of industrial development.
The many authors and the many works that still deserve to be remembered, albeit with their specific contributions, would be largely attributable to the three main lines of research formed around the themes we have briefly indicated, that is, the relationships between experiences of European culture and conditions of our society, between new interventions and historical persistence, between design practice, construction technique and industrial development. More abundant citations would confirm that these are three lines that are still parallel or not very convergent and that a key problem remains that of recomposing them instead into a unitary resultant, enhancing their mutual connections and dependencies. There is, moreover, a confirmation of a different sign from the numerous judgments indicated in G. Valle is the best Italian architect of the generation today around the age of fifty, that is, a designer who has made an effort to make his interventions homogeneous, from the monument to the Resistance in Udine to town halls, services, homes in Friuli, leveraging on experience collection in designing objects, factories, buildings for industry, among which the Zanussi offices in Pordenone stand out. Yet another kind of confirmation of the need to bring together the various lines of research comes from the plans for the historic center drawn up in Bologna where, after the turning point made by G. Campos Venuti in municipal urban planning, the action carried out by PL Cervellati and R. Scannavini marked a qualitative leap in addressing the question of ancient cities precisely because it has more isolated and has considered multiple aspects together. After having carried out exemplary restoration and addition interventions in another illustrious historical city, Urbino, for which he also studied the master plan, GC De Carlo has created in Terni a district for steel mill workers that is the best housing complex for workers so far built in Italy; in designing it he stimulated suggestions and verifications by those who would have lived there, starting, in the obviously questionable forms of an initial experience, the search for an architecture that becomes popular through the participation of users. In Milan, in the Gallaratese district, C. Aymonino, the best known of the Roman designers who started working after 1950, created next to a building by A.
In order not to disperse, by leaving them unconnected, the various contributions that have been remembered and to overcome the contradictions mentioned above, help for designers can come from architectural criticism, which has had a notable growth in our company, reported above. all from the fact that more than one author has measured himself with the task of dealing in full with the history of modern architecture. The first was B. Zevi, who recently published a new edition, and to this and other books he has joined the direction of a magazine and a journalistic activity regularly carried out for years. In search of contact with the public, others have also established collaborative relationships with newspapers and weeklies, and among these A. Cederna has a particular place, for the controversy tenaciously aimed at safeguarding and improving the environment. The story of Zevi was followed by one by L. Benevolo, with international success as well, tending to envisage it as an aspect of the more general history of contemporary society, one by R. De Fusco and another very recent by M. Tafuri and F. From the Co ‘. Some architects have completely abandoned the design activity to devote themselves to critical studies; in cases such as those of P. Portoghesi and A. Rossi it is difficult to say whether they attribute more importance to projects or writings. While previously those who, like Quaroni or G. Samonà, accompanied design and planning activities with books and essays were an exception, today the architects who write have become numerous: Aymonino, E. Battisti, F. Borsi, S. Bracco, Canella, P. Ceccarelli, C. Dardi, De Carlo, V. De Feo, C. de ‘Seta, M. Fabbri, V. Gregotti, GK Koenig, Italy Insolera, M. Manieri Elia, M. Porta, V. Quilici, E. Salzano, A. Samonà, F. Tentori, and one could continue in the citations. There have been important reprints, in particular the collection (by G. Veronesi, careful commentator on the renewal of our architecture from the earliest times) of the scattered writings of E. Persico, who confirms himself as one of the most intelligent critics in the international field, during the interwar period.