Aldo Rossi and the Spirit of Architecture
Yale University Press, 209
An essential new look at the Italian architect, writer, and designer whose work paved the way for the postmodern movement
This crucial reassessment of Aldo Rossi’s (1931–1997) architecture simultaneously examines his writings, drawings, and product design, including the coffeepots and clocks he designed for the Italian firm Alessi. The first Italian to receive the Pritzker Prize, Rossi rejected modernism, seeking instead a form of architecture that could transcend the aesthetic legacy of Fascism in postwar Italy. Rossi was a visionary who did not allow contemporary trends to dominate his thinking. His baroque sensibility and poetic approach, found both in his buildings and in important texts like The Architecture of the City, inspired the critic Ada Louise Huxtable to describe him as “a poet who happens to be an architect.”
Diane Ghirardo explores different categories of structures—monuments, public buildings, cultural institutions, theaters, and cemeteries—drawing significantly on previously unpublished archival materials and always keeping Rossi’s own texts in the forefront. By delving into the relationships among Rossi’s multifaceted life, his rich body of work, and his own reflections, this book provides a critical new understanding of Rossi’s buildings and the place of architecture in postwar Italy.