Giuseppe Terragni: Minimum Architecture

Alessandra Coppa, Attilio Terragni, Paolo Rosselli (photography)

24 ORE Cultura, 2013


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Giuseppe Terragni’s training as an architect can be placed in the complex starting point of Italian Rationalism, wavering between the Futurist legacy, the metaphysical language of Valori Plastici, and the Classicism of the Novecento – the complex and entirely Italian pathway to modernity, where the form and the aesthetic of the building are subordinated to its technical and practical features. Terragni (1904-1943) loved to spend his nights working on a large table ‘filled with drawings helter-skelter’, a cigarette dangling from his mouth in the company of his cat Demiurgo. His fellow workers described him as being big and tall, carelessly dressed, with ‘heavy and awkward’ hands that, however, were skilled at drawing ‘a slender sign, a very subtle, vibrant and neat line’. Thus was born the Casa del Fascio, the architect’s most representative work, a true and proper manifesto of Italian Rationalism – but also the building destined to interpret the spirit of the Fascist regime and to cause a stir. This was followed by his great apartment buildings (the Case Rustici, Giringhelli, Lavezzari, Toninello, Rustici-Comolli): it was the complex theme of the ‘modern house’ that the 5th Triennial held in 1933 had put forward as the subject of architectural discussion. And then there was the great State architecture on the occasion of the major Roman competitions: for the Palazzo del Littorio, the Palazzo dei Ricevimenti e dei Congressi for the E42 (EUR), and for the Danteum, none of which were ever realised.

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ISBN: 9788866481492

120 pages, illustrations in color & b/w, hardcover, English