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Italo Rota

Italo Rota

Being co-author of the Gare d’Orsay in Paris, along with Gae Aulenti, has proved a blessing and a liability for Italo Rota. A blessing, since such a high-profile job doesn’t come one’s way every day. A liability because the Gare d’Orsay is an architectural collage: a distinctly post-modern operation hovering between irony that doesn’t quite come off and neo-monumentalism that smacks of marzipan. Various important museum projects would follow, including the Louvre; town planning designs for Nantes; and interiors, such as the Lugano casino. But to my mind Rota’s singular talent has only recently blossomed with the mediatheques he has designed at Anzola dell’Emilia and San Sisto, Perugia: two of the best things built in Italy these last few years. Though they achieve the same result, the two are complementary: each plays on a different formal register. Anzola is all straight lines, prisms...

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