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«Architects must be in touch with living, because living is everything»: words that would appear to have been on Lina Bo Bardi’s mind as early as 1946, when boarded a ship to Rio de Janeiro, her eyes filled with curiosity and her mind open, leaving behind the ruins of an Italy devastated by war. Travelling inside her were both Achillina, the impertinent girl marked by her disdain for the social mores and rules of her time, and Lina Bo, the young, tenacious professional who, following her university studies under Marcello Piacentini in Rome, went to Milan to fight for her independence in a world of men, becoming Deputy Director of Domus magazine while winning the esteem of Gio Ponti, Bruno Zevi and her future husband, Pietro Maria Bardi.Translating into thought and practice an existence in constant flux, Lina gave full expression to her original voice as an architect, designer, curator and set designer in Brazil. Her best known buildings – the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, the Casa de Vidro, and the SESC Pompéia centre – reflect a focus on the collective, on ties to nature and folk traditions, making for extremely modern, unconventional architecture.The result of twenty years of research, Zeuler R. Lima’s portrait grasps the complexity of a woman who shunned the beaten path, journeying through her own contradictions without hesitation, tossed back and forth between her revolutionary impulses and the incurable melancholy of her soul. The author does not shy away from the more sombre side of her life, inevitably visible even in the photo of Lina on the deck of the ship on which she crossed the Atlantic, in keeping with the epithet coined for her by Valentino Bompiani, “the tired goddess”: a solitary rebel whose intellectual legacy is more alive today than ever.
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La dea stanca

Vita di Lina Bo Bardi

Zeuler R. Lima

pages: 396 pages

«Architects must be in touch with living, because living is everything»: words that would appear to have been on Lina Bo Bardi’s mind as early as 1946, when boarded a ship to Rio de Janeiro, her eyes filled with curiosity and her mind open, leaving behind the ruins of an Italy devastated by war. Travelling inside her were both Achillina, the im
October 1937. As a fruitful conversation at the White House between President Roosevelt and Vittorio Mussolini was drawing to a close, the former expressed the hope that he would meet Vittorio’s father: “One day we must meet”. These were encouraging words for Mussolini’s son, dazzled by the American way of life and there to represent the younger modernist spirit of Fascism.  At the time, the “great country” was becoming ever more frequently a key mediator at the centre of the dense network that was parallel diplomacy. Modern art and architecture were used persistently and pervasively by the Fascist government as cultural ambassadors to create myths that would seduce the masses and win over public opinion. It was a practice that created opportunities and tangible results: on one hand, the imposing national pavilions built for the iconic 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, on the other, the great exhibitions of contemporary art – Casorati, Sironi, Levi, Carrà and de Chirico, among others – alongside the celebrated old masters, whose artworks were sent on daring transatlantic journeys thanks to the enterprising spirit of the likes of Dario Sabatello, Mimì Pecci Blunt and Giulio Carlo Argan.Sergio Cortesini focusses appropriately on the re-evocation of place and on the lively cultural climate of the period. He draws on hundreds of previously unpublished documents to look back at the course of Italian modern art in America between 1933 and 1941. From the early successes he goes on to describe the steady deterioration in political relations up to the final tragic moment when Italy entered the war. This event marked the end of all illusions of grandeur: the pavilions were demolished and the artwork was put into storage. For those who sincerely believed in an Italianismo that could be expressed through the forms of modern aesthetics and the renewed communicative power of national art, Roosevelt’s words were destined to be lost in translation.
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One day we must meet

Le sfide dell’arte e dell’architettura italiane in America (1933-1941)

Sergio Cortesini

pages: 325 pages

October 1937. As a fruitful conversation at the White House between President Roosevelt and Vittorio Mussolini was drawing to a close, the former expressed the hope that he would meet Vittorio’s father: “One day we must meet”. These were encouraging words for Mussolini’s son, dazzled by the American way of life and there to represent the yo
L’altra Italia is a visual account of the inland areas of Italy, from the Alps down the length of the Appenines as far as the islands. It documents a vulnerable landscape, at the margins of the large metropolitan conurbations with their infrastructure, services and high-speed internet connections. This is the Italy of villages and small towns where over 4,000 municipalities represent 60% of the geographical area and 25% of the population of Italy. An ancient, visceral, essential landscape, it is as far from the tourist routes of the glossy magazines as it is close to an elemental dimension. What these areas have in common is that they are affected by the same process of depopulation and impoverishment of the economic fabric, and yet they are rich in resources, trustees of an inestimable natural and cultural heritage, with characteristics that make Italy stand out from the urban fabric of Europe as a whole.   The book started out as a survey for Arcipelago Italia, the exhibition project conceived by Mario Cucinella for the Italian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. With documentary accuracy that goes beyond straightforward representation, to observe the changes in the territory and the ongoing developments taking place, these images of the landscape follow in the tradition of Pasolini, mapping out a humanistic geography that re-evaluates personal experience and everyday life from different points of view: sustainability and the environment, social inclusion and the sharing of intangible assets, earthquakes and the collective memory, work and health, regeneration and contemporary creativity. Despite their different approaches, the architect-photographers of the Urban Reports collective square up to the landscape without any sensationalism: their photography captures the spirit of these places, the centuries-old stratifications, the nuances and the details; it captures the intersections of meaning beneath the visible and material aspects. There are five main destinations: the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Appenines and the Casentinesi Forests National Park; Camerino, the crater and the area of central Italy hit by the earthquake in 2016; the Basento Valley near Matera; the Belice Valley,  Gibellina in particular, in the province of Trapani in western Sicily; Barbagia and the Ottana Plain in the central region of Sardinia that extends along the sides of the Gennargentu Massif. The work of Urban Reports reveals a much richer and more multi-faceted world than the official one of the country, one where the principal resource of a territory is its people, their knowledge and their skills. It calls for a commitment from architects, town planners, designers and local administrators to develop plans to relaunch the economy, revitalize the existing social fabric, interact with and nurture positive dynamics among the local communities in these areas. The photographs are accompanied by texts by Marco Belpoliti. This book is the result of a photographic campaign by the Urban Reports collective for Arcipelago Italia, Mario Cucinella’s curatorial project for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, supported by the Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Suburbs of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage Activities and Tourism.
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L'altra Italia

Racconto per immagini delle aree interne del paese

Urban Reports

pages: 168 pages

L’altra Italia is a visual account of the inland areas of Italy, from the Alps down the length of the Appenines as far as the islands. It documents a vulnerable landscape, at the margins of the large metropolitan conurbations with their infrastructure, services and high-speed internet connections. This is the Italy of villages and small towns whe
This book is much more than just an autobiography. It is a jazz improvisation featuring a fusion of personal memoirs and ideas for a better society. It encompasses projects, drawings and photographs, partnerships and disputes. The author expresses his passion for big cities and public spaces, his love for his family and friends, his trust in education and active citizenship. However we want to read it, it makes us realize how architecture is a fundamental tool for tackling the two great challenges of our age: social inequality and climate change.Born in Florence in 1933, amidst the modernist structures designed by his cousin Ernesto Nathan Rogers and a view of Brunelleschi’s dome, Richard Rogers soon grasped that good architecture has to reflect changing technology and the spirit of the age. Consequently, having completed his studies at Yale – where he met his future partner Norman Foster – he embarked on a road trip in search of innovative ideas and design solutions: the strong colours of California and Mexico, the open structures of industrial architecture, and the lightness and transparencies of the Case Study Houses proved great sources of inspiration, becoming a constant feature in that visual vocabulary that he brought with him when he returned to London. Parkside, the Wimbledon home built for his parents between 1968 and 1969, was the first result of his American experience and encapsulates his entire architectural ethos: the daring use of colour and eco-sustainable prefabricated elements, the importance of transparency and flexibility. It was a prototype for a building that lends itself to multiple changes of use, embodying our “long-lasting, widely adaptable, low-energy” diktat. It was also his last family building project before he was swallowed up, together with Renzo Piano, in the whirlwind of the competition for a major public building in the heart of Paris.Today, more than forty years after the deluge of criticism that surrounded its construction and opening, the Pompidou Centre continues to be an undisputed icon of modernity and one of the pulsating hearts of city life, demonstrating that architecture has the power to shape our lives: good architecture brings humanity and civilization, bad architecture brutalizes.
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Un posto per tutti

Vita, architettura e società giusta

Richard Rogers

pages: 372 pages

This book is much more than just an autobiography. It is a jazz improvisation featuring a fusion of personal memoirs and ideas for a better society. It encompasses projects, drawings and photographs, partnerships and disputes. The author expresses his passion for big cities and public spaces, his love for his family and friends, his trust in educat
Contemporary churches often resemble industrial buildings, swimming pools, bars or garages. They rarely have a façade and bell towers are just a fleeting memory. Their interiors are disorienting and aseptic like waiting rooms and the dome has been replaced by a ceiling that doesn’t make one think of God, but of the tenant upstairs. The rose windows have been replaced by skylights and the sacred images by anodyne abstract artworks that evoke a vague spirituality lacking in transcendency. In homage to minimalism, the altars look like they’ve come out of an Ikea catalogue. The horror of the new holy buildings is the price the Church pays contemporary society. Following the Second Vatican Council, it did away with traditional forms in favour of more daring architectural eccentricity or, worse still, joyfully adhering to the bureaucracy of town planning committees. And yet new, magniloquent cathedrals are springing up everywhere: they are the museums designed by famous architects, driving forces behind tourism and multi-million euro investments, places destined not to conserve memories any more but to act as luxury packaging for contemporary art, themselves works of art, icons, places where the culture that is becoming a religion can be experienced. Throngs of the faithful set off in pilgrimage: just as they once headed to Chartres, now they visit the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Tate Modern in London to worship the idols and relics of the contemporary age. Angelo Crespi takes a fun, light-hearted look at ugly churches, comparing them to the rules set for architects by the Italian Episcopal Conference in a comic little manual that is not the result of faith, but a sort of post-Council ‘pauperistic’ moralism. He compares them to the designs for Deconstructionist museums, huge alien spaceships made from glass, iron and concrete, which increasingly often determine the city landscape, fun houses and factories of meaning and consensus.
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Costruito da dio

Perché le chiese contemporanee sono brutte e i musei sono diventati le nuove cattedrali

Angelo Crespi

pages: 140 pages

Contemporary churches often resemble industrial buildings, swimming pools, bars or garages. They rarely have a façade and bell towers are just a fleeting memory. Their interiors are disorienting and aseptic like waiting rooms and the dome has been replaced by a ceiling that doesn’t make one think of God, but of the tenant upstairs. The rose wind
The name of Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) is intrinsically linked to the history of art, taste and museology of the 20th century, so much so that in the seventies the French art historian André Chastel wrote: “Many of those who travel round Italy know him without realizing it: he is the greatest organizer of art exhibitions in Europe”. He still stands tall in the pantheon of those who revolutionized museums in the post-war years (in spite of widespread resistance and provincialism) transforming them into outposts of the avant-garde. The resounding success of the installation created to host the work of Paul Klee at the Venice Biennale in 1948 was followed by many others in quick succession. The personal exhibitions of Piet Mondrian and Marcel Duchamp, the collaborations with Lucio Fontana and Arturo Martini and his work on many historic buildings trace the development of an original architect who up-dated the way art was displayed by setting out a model that takes bold liberties to incomparable lyrical effect. It becomes unfettered from the lofty grandeur of the pre-existing places, fostering a style that is light and spare. His career was a series of legendary solutions resolved in situ (always in tandem with time constraints and a great lack of resources) in symbiosis with the mastery of the craftspeople around him. How to find one’s way around the huge number of exhibitions and museums for which Carlo Scarpa was wholly or partially responsible? Philippe Duboÿ, who worked with him and had access to many archives, is the ideal guide to help us understand the plans, reliefs, sketches, and photographs relating to every one of Scarpa’s projects.  Rare documents written by Carlo Scarpa have been included in the book, which has been conceived according to the principle of synchronism between image and word, which so interested Le Corbusier. The author reveals the personal dialogue between this great figure of European culture and the work of art.
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Carlo Scarpa. L'arte di esporre

L'arte di esporre

Philippe Duboÿ

pages: 268 pages

The name of Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) is intrinsically linked to the history of art, taste and museology of the 20th century, so much so that in the seventies the French art historian André Chastel wrote: “Many of those who travel round Italy know him without realizing it: he is the greatest organizer of art exhibitions in Europe”. He still sta
This is a story of conversations that never took place and arrested developments; an adventurous tale, never yet fully told, whose protagonists include Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, Charles and Ray Eames and Yona Friedman, Bruno Munari and Frank Lloyd Wright, Giancarlo De Carlo and Ludovico Quaroni, Emilio Ambasz and Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce and Mario Bellini, Michele De Lucchi and Aldo Rossi, Superstudio and Andrea Branzi.  What these diverse players have in common is a deep fascination for film, the medium of the modern age. As the extraordinary art of "seeing space", it is a tool that can be used to explore architecture and describe its principles and volumes from the inside, a device that can be deployed to visualise the contemporary metropolis. Reluctant to embrace the rules of the film industry and grasp the specificity of cinematic language, these architects/directors see the seventh art as a free arena, a terrain to explore without having to pay lip service to customs and rituals, a place for the wildest experiments. Some elements are recurrent: the urgency of their accounts, their critical approach, their desire to recycle existing materials, their visionary momentum and conceptual attitude. While Le Corbusier and De Carlo used moving pictures to bring theoretical reflections already known to scholars and professionals to an audience of non-specialists, others - like Pesce, De Lucchi, Bellini and Branzi - adopted avant-garde models, rejecting the traditional dictates of discourse and the classic canons of communication. Others, like Acconci and Superstudio, use video to stage absurd, impossible projects.In this original book edited by Vincenzo Trione we meet many architects for whom the cinema, in the words of Giulio Carlo Argan, is not just a "pure and simple system of knowledge", but a "newly established system of meaning", the "most structuring" of artistic techniques.
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Il cinema degli architetti

pages: 270 pages

This is a story of conversations that never took place and arrested developments; an adventurous tale, never yet fully told, whose protagonists include Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, Charles and Ray Eames and Yona Friedman, Bruno Munari and Frank Lloyd Wright, Giancarlo De Carlo and Ludovico Quaroni, Emilio Ambasz and Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pes

Roma interrotta

Twelve Interventions on the Nolli's Plan of Rome

pages: 240 pages

In his 'Nuova Pianta di Roma' dated 1748, Giovanni Battista Nolli presented for the first time the Eternal City as a complete organism: divided into twelve tables, the plan reproduces all mechanisms of Rome, showing the external and internal 'spaces' created by removing the solid mass of built-up areas. Almost two hundred fifty years later, in 197
Countless books have been written on Adolf Hitler. When CBS announced its intention of producing a film on his youth years ago, the almost unanimous chorus of protest that ensued can be summarised as saying: “We know who he was and what he did. What else is there to know?” Frederic Spotts offers an completely unprecedented view of Hitler and the Third Reich in a surprising examination of the Führer’s aims and huge machinery he built up around him. The key role of culture in his vision of the Arian super state has seldom been addressed. It was not the end to which power should aspire but a means to obtain it. From the spectacular mass rallies in Nuremberg to the imposing architectural works, from the musical festivals and his tormented relationship with Wagner to the policies of cleansing, from his own watercolours to the dream of opening an enormous art gallery in Linz: the artist manqué thus succeeded in expressing his talent by mesmerizing Germany and most of Europe. The only enemy that Hitler would not have imprisoned once the fighting was over but “left living comfortably in a fortress with permission to write his memoirs and paint” was Winston Churchill, the British officer who painted the ruins of a village during the Great War while Hitler immortalized a church on the other side of the river. Carl Burckhardt, the commissioner of the League of Nations in Danzig, who met the Führer twice in 1939 was therefore probably right to suggest that the dictator had a split personality: “the rather gentle artist” on the one hand and “the homicidal maniac” on the other. For obvious reasons, writers have concentrated on the homicidal maniac for over fifty years now. While in no way wishing to ignore the second Hitler, Spotts addresses the first.
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Hitler e il potere dell’estetica

Frederic Spotts

pages: 480 pages

Countless books have been written on Adolf Hitler. When CBS announced its intention of producing a film on his youth years ago, the almost unanimous chorus of protest that ensued can be summarised as saying: “We know who he was and what he did. What else is there to know?” Frederic Spotts offers an completely unprecedented view of Hitler and t

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