Rationalism (1922-1945)

Rationalism was an Italian Architectural Style developed during the raise of Fascism. During the 1920s a group of young architects called Gruppo 7 published their Manifesto with the intent to reinvent Classicism and implement the industrially inspired architecture of Futurism.

Palazzo of the Italian Civilization, Rome
Palazzo of the Italian Civilization, Rome


Image source: http://aquicktravelthrougharchitecture.blogspot.it/2016/02/architectural-design-styles-through.html


Rationalism- Characteristics

  • The priority of urban planning on the architectural project.
  • The increased use of land use and construction to solve the housing problem.
  • The rigorous rationality of architectural forms, understood as logical deductions (effects) from objective requirements (causes).
  • The systematic appeal to the industrial technology, standardization, prefabrication in series, in other words, the progressive industrialization of the production of goods related to daily life (industrial design).
  • The conception of architecture and industrial production qualified as determinants of social progress and democratic education community. 

Info source: http://aquicktravelthrougharchitecture.blogspot.it/2016/02/architectural-design-styles-through.html

Italian Cubic Armchair -Gino Levi-Montalcini & Giuseppe Pagano
Italian Cubic Armchair -Gino Levi-Montalcini & Giuseppe Pagano

Rationalism- Architects

Adalberto Libera (1903-1963) was one of the most representative architects of the Italian Modern movement. His main works are Palace of Congresses at the EUR (1930’s), Post office in via Marmorata in Roma (1932), Casa Malaparte on Capri (1938), Housing units in Cagliari (1950–53) and The Spezia Cathedral.

Casa Malaparte- The house, a red structure with inverted pyramid stairs, sits 32 meters over a cliff on the Gulf of Salerno. It is completely isolated from civilization, only accessible by foot or by boat.

Casa Malaparte, Capri
Casa Malaparte, Capri

The house was commissioned by the Italian writer, Curzio Malaparte. This work could be interpreted as a hybrid of classical and modern architecture: classical in its imposing monumentality, and modern in its domestic functional scale which offers shelter and control over the landscape beyond. Villa Malaparte has the plastic quality of an object, as the geometry regulates the order of the project as opposed to this context. Villa Malaparte was built with local stone extracted from the site itself; as a result, it is as if the house has emerged from the landscape over which it is placed, the stairs seem to exceed the cliff, creating a new height on it.

Image and info source: http://www.archdaily.com/777627/architecture-classics-villa-malaparte-adalberto-libera

Giuseppe Terragni– (1904 -1943) was an Italian architect who worked in the Italian modern movement under the rubric of Rationalism. His most famous work is the Casa del Fascio built in Como, northern Italy, which was begun in 1932 and completed in 1936; it was built in accordance with the International Style of architecture.

8 Started in 1932 and completed in 1936 under the regime of Benito Mussolini as the seat of the local branch of the National Fascist Party, a Casa del Fascio. The building is a perfectly regular, square-based prism whose height is half the base length. The strict plan would suggest an explicit mock-classical architecture, but attempts to search for a dynamic balance between the volumes and voids of the fronts, partly using large glass areas that connect the inside and the outside. The principal front is a large, full, vertical rectangle.

Info source: http://architectuul.com/architecture/casa-del-fascio


Pair of armchairs, from the Palazzo Gualino, Turin, 1928
Pair of armchairs, from the Palazzo Gualino, Turin, 1928

Gino Levi-Montalcini(1902 – 1974) The Palazzo Gualino office building he designed with the collaboration of G.Pagano, for the financier Riccardo Gualino drew an immediate response at the international level. Other projects designed by the two architects were publicized and analyzed by critics, in particular through the pages of Casabella and Domus. He also designed furniture and decor, starting with 67 pieces of furniture for the Palazzo Gualino and including furnishings of important public buildings, such as the Hall of the Press in Turin, in shops, including the Borletti in Galleria San Federico, and for exhibitions.

Image source: http://www.artnet.com/artists/levi-montalcini-and-guiseppe-pagano/pair-of-armchairs-

Giuseppe Pagano (1896–1945) was an Italian architect, notable for his involvement in the movement of rationalist architecture in Italy up to the end of the Second World War. He designed exhibitions, furniture and interiors and was an amateur photographer. He was also a long-time editor of the journal Casabella.

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