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The raison d’être Behind an Essential Architecture

Onsitestudio

The raison d’être Behind an Essential Architecture
By Valerio Paolo Mosco -

Milan has already been a subject in our Journey to Italy. The city continues to reinvent itself following a plan, which, whatever its faults, has been adhered to by all successive city administrations in recent years. It continues believe in its distinctive character, even if for some it is an exclusively commercial self-image. The style is one of variable geometries, ranging from Piazza Gae Aulenti to the Feltrinelli Foundation, but also taking in the famous pop symbol - the Bosco Verticale - viewed with a touch of irony, humor, admiration and disdain.

On our Journey, we have already mentioned the various architects operating in Milan whose assertive, well-made, highly legible projects seem to sum up the spirit of the city and translate the cultural baggage accumulated down the years known as the Milan School. It all started with Ernesto N. Rogers, continued with the radicalism of Grassi and the early Rossi, and was then added to and amended by the cultivated professionalism of people like Gardella and Caccia Dominioni, architects who shied away from imposing academic rigueur on the city even if some of their projects did tend to go in that direction. Then came a period during the 1990s during which this architectural heritage fell out of favor, seemingly out of sync with a time when the prevailing mood was for extreme forms of design architecture - often uselessly aggressive, even overwhelming creations whose confident assertiveness ran completely counter to the long-standing tenets underpinning Milan’s self-image. Under this attack, however, Milan remained steadfast. At the end of the 1990s, just when it seemed that everything had to resemble either Gehry’s Guggenheim or John Pawson’s extreme minimalism, Cino Zucchi produced the housing project on the Venetian island of Giudecca: a statement of distinctive elegance reasserting the value of Venice’s particular architecture, coupled with the belief that a building had a duty to...

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