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Constantly Unfolding Architecture

Iotti + Pavarani Architetti

Iotti + Pavarani Architetti operates in the fields of architecture, urbanism, landscape and research, with special focus on urban regeneration of complex or heritage sites. The firm is especially well known for architectures posited on environmental, social and economic sustainability that blend successfully into sensitive landscapes and townscapes of great environmental value. Established in 2001 by partners Paolo Iotti and Marco Pavarani, Iotti + Pavarani Architetti has received more than 20 awards in architecture and urban design competitions, and gained national and international recognition for innovative designs that slip easily into their surroundings. Awards include the Renzo Piano Foundation’s 2011 Best Young Italian Talent in Architecture Prize.

In this issue we start from Ferrara, the “modern” Ferrara that saw the light at the end of the 15th Century when Ercole I charged court architect Biagio Rossetti with the task of extending the city northward in a move also intended to create a bulwark against the expansionist ambitions of the Serenissima, the mighty Republic of Venice. Architect, critic and historian Bruno Zevi was right when he called Rossetti’s plan Europe’s first “modern” land use project. It was modern because Rossetti did not turn out the typical bombastic product a Renaissance architect currying favor at court would have produced: i.e. a system of monumental squares with immaculate round centerpieces. Rather, he developed a road system intersecting at right angles on which major buildings - like his own Palazzo dei Diamanti - are not placed in perfectly centered perspective against an appropriate backdrop but stand, elegantly discreet, alongside the other buildings making up the smooth flow of the streetscape. Ferrara is a city made a brick from top to toe. Its ramparts were well designed and maintained down the centuries so that even today there is still a perceptible...

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