Modern Architecture in Italy: From Futurism to Neorationalism

Seminar im Master/Diplom Level, MediaArchitecutre, 4 SWS

In his legendary polemic „Neoliberty. The Italian Retreat from Modern Architecture“ the critic Reyner Banham denied that Italy ever had an avantgarde comparable to movements in Germany, the Netherlands or France. Starting from this dubious assumption the seminar seeks to explore the history and theory of modern architecture in Italy. Discussing the so called futurist movement, which already before World War One gained enormous significance as an early contribution to european modernism, it continues with competing positions, styles and aesthetics like Novecento and Razionalismo and finally runs into the postwar situation within the wider scope of international debates, comprising postmodern controversies. This course will be opened with an introductory lecture followed by seminar discussions dedicated to specific subjects and a study trip to Northern Italy at the end of the semester, which will be co-organized by the Polytechnic University of Turin. Attending students are expected to contribute a paper on one of the subjects listed below.


1.   Introduction
2.   „Rissa in Città“. Antonio Sant’Elia’s manifest of futurist architecture
      Text: Antonio Sant’Elia, Manifest of Futurist Architecture,
3.   Architettura Metafisica. Giovanni Muzio’s architecture in Milan
      Projects: Cà’ Brütta; Palazzo dell’Arte; Mailänder Domplatz;
      Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
 4.  The manifests of the Gruppo Sette
      Texts: Gruppo 7, Architecture, in: Oppositions 6, 1976, pp. 89-92; Gruppo 7,
      The Rationalist Manifesto, in: Architectural Design, 1981, p. 43
5.   Terragni’s architecture in Como and Milan
      Projects: Casa Novocomum; Casa del Fascio; Casa Rustici;
      Kindergarten Sant’Elia; Casa Giuliano Frigerio
6.   Marcello Piacentino’s classicism
      Projects: Palazzo di Giustizia; Piazza Vittoria
7.   Against Rationalism: Bruno Zevi’s „Verso un architettura organica“
      Text: Bruno Zevi, Towards an Organic Architecture, London 1950
8.   Ernesto Nathan Rogers and the end of CIAM
      Texts: Oskar Newman, CIAM’59 in Otterlo, in: Dokumente der Modernen
      Architektur, hrg. v. Jürgen Joedicke, Stuttgart 1961, S. 97

9.   The impact of architectural history: Manfredo Tafuri
      Text: Manfredo Tafuri, L’Architecture dans le Boudoir: The language of criticism
      and the criticism of language, in: Oppositions, Nr. 3, 1975, S. 37-62

10. Aldo Rossi’s „razionalismo esaltato“
      Texts: Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City, 1966;
      A Scientific Autobiography, 1982
11. Rossi’s works in Milan
      Projects: Gallaratese; Segrate
12. Superstudio
      Project: Continuous Monument
13. Between Milan and New York: Peter Eisenman’s interpretation of „architettura
      Texts: Peter Eisenman, Dall'oggetto alla relazionalità: la casa del Fascio di
      Terragni, in: Casabella, Nr. 344, 1970, S. 38-41; Peter Eisenman, From Object
      to Relationship II: Giuseppe Terragni, Casa Giuliani Frigerio and Casa del
      Fascio, 1971; Zit. n.: [Re] Reading Perspecta, The First Fifty Years of the Yale
      Architectural Journal, Cambridge, Mass./London 2004, S. 298-310

14. Final discussion: The italian contribution to postmodern debates and its
      contemporary significance
15. Study trip to Northern Italy (Como, Milan, Brescia)



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    Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Jasper Cepl

    Leitung der Professur

    Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 6, Raum 101
    99423 Weimar
    E-Mail: jasper.cepl[at]
    Tel.: +49 (0) 36 43/58 31 41

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