Architectures for Metropolis. Ivan Leonidov/Gianugo Polesello : Moscow/Magnitogorsk/Florence/Naples/Gdansk/Venice
Luca Lanini, Gundula Rakowitz
Pisa University Press, 2019
What binds two very different characters like Ivan Leonidov and Gianugo Polesello, coming from immeasurable cultural and historical contexts? The authors of this publication believe that these two masters are essentially linked by operating according to a single principle: that architecture and city are an inseparable entity, a single great work of art in which the role of the artefacts is indistinguishable from that of geography and landscape, from that of the infrastructures that characterize modern metropolises, and their Grosstadtarchitektur. The city is built through those architectures that take on a new role in scale, size, language and for the theatrical value they take on in the general shape of the city. The construction of architecture and its techniques also have a civil value, staging the positive values of a society. However, it seems to that in reality the deepest bond that unites these two personalities is absolute trust in the transformative power of architecture. A trust that never failed: for Leonidov not even in the dark years of Stalinism, when the enfant prodige of Soviet architecture was relegated to a position of absolute subordination; for Polesello when he refuses compromised professionalism to devote himself to theoretical projects carried out mostly in the academic field. A confidence in the fact that those projects, as thoughtful and ultimately definitive answers on the open questions in Moscow, Magnitogorsk, Naples, Venice or Gdansk, will become buildings and parts of the city through the hands of other architects.