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Giving structure to a project


Since time immemorial, Rome has had a particular role in figurative culture, that of taking languages to the extreme, even to their breaking point. Probably it all started with the mannerism of Pirro Ligorio, becoming fully explicit with Borromini’s Baroque. Closer to our day, people like Moretti and Sacripanti can also be seen as continuing the trend. While during the 20th century the architectural language of Milan became increasingly disciplined under the influence of Ernesto Nathan Rogers, Rome, following the example of Ludovico Quaroni, took things to extremes that went beyond the discipline of architecture. 
Until only a few decades ago, large scale ideological urbanism, sociology, expressionist art, pop art, events and ephemeral happenings sustained the idea of Rome as a lively, dispersive, albeit at times confused, yet vibrant city. In the second half of the nineties, for example, when Italian architecture was in free-fall, Rome still retained a certain verve and freshness. Massimiliano Fuksas had extended his studio and many young people of the day had a chance to measure themselves, not against the decadent historicism of pre-ordained architecture, but against the wide-ranging gamut of international projects. There were also the competitions triggered by the 2000 Jubilee, which renewed interest in public spaces, and the plan - never realized - of a city dotted with examples of modern architecture worthy of a place that although definable in many ways, is nothing if not unique. But it was a short-lived season. The city’s typical inability to remain focused, aided and abetted by a totally unworthy political class, along with the decline of the schools, all undermined architecture in Rome, leading to its demise. 
Today, Rome is a city in waiting: waiting to have at least a moderately competent administration, an executive class worthy of the name, a return to decorum that seems to have evaporated like oil on the...

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