WOO_interview

Luigi CAVALLARI

What is the first memory that comes to your mind related to the architecture faculty of Pescara?

The first is a vivid visual memory of an absolutely personal nature, when in the distant 1972, a young architect who had recently graduated, I got off the train that in over four hours had brought me from Rome to the then unknown to me Pescara and, accompanied by my friend Nanni Guazzo , walking along the seafront and the canal port, I arrived on a dazzling spring morning as far as the faculty, which was then located in an unlikely building on the railway bridge.

One of the phenomena that has interested the faculty of architecture in Pescara since its origins has been that of the Tendenza. What is the Trend, and what did it mean for you?

La Tendenza was for me the discovery of Pescara. Our faculty was born, at the end of the 60s, on the cultural meeting of two great personalities who helped to found it, Aldo Rossi and Eduardo Vittoria. Aldo Rossi, the most genuine interpreter of what was later called the Tendency, was the bearer of an ideologically and rationally founded vision of architecture, with the certainties, rigidity and exclusions that this entailed.

Eduardo Vittoria, who taught technology and who was my teacher, was a veteran of the fundamental Olivetti experience and had an absolutely experimental vision of building, alien to any ideological temptation.

The difference between the two approaches was plastically evident in the XV Triennale di Milano in 1973, in which the Italian Section curated by Vittoria ("The empty space of the habitat") in which I had the good fortune to participate, contrasted, a few meters away , at the exhibition curated by Aldo Rossi on rational architecture. We can certainly affirm that in those years Pescara contributed to the affirmation of a good level of reflection and research on architecture, thanks to the presence in the compositional subjects of the teachers who over the years succeeded Aldo Rossi, such as Giorgio Grassi, Rosaldo Bonicalzi, Antonio Monestiroli, Adalberto Del Bo, Gianni Braghieri, Carlo Manzo, Agostino Renna and, in technological matters, in the presence of Franco Donato, Augusto Vitale, Nanni Guazzo, Michele Platania. Of course, the weight of the compositional component is different from the technological one, but in those years the Pescara faculty was culturally alive thanks to the comparison between the aspiration to the rule of Tendency, and the "design fantasy" of Eduardo Vittoria.

What do you think you have left in this faculty?

I don't know if I left something, it's not for me to say, but this faculty has left a lot to me: when I meet some ex-student, who tells me that he has learned something from me, I think I have not wasted these many years. But sometimes I wonder, going around Pescara, if this city is like this because of us, or in spite of us.

In his career he has faced different academic realities. Are there any distinctive features that are recognizable in the various universities, and if so, which ones are they?

I have always taught in Pescara, so I don't really know the realities of the other universities, although of course I have attended several of them. However, I can affirm that every time we have presented the works of our students in other locations, we have never disfigured.

If you were to return to teaching in Pescara, what experiences would you try to introduce into the reality of the Department of Architecture?

I still teach in Pescara, in the Construction Engineering course. If I could give a suggestion to the Department of Architecture, I would say to enhance the experiences of interaction between the skills of compositions, technologies and techniques, as we have tried to do in recent years in the "Design and Construction" degree laboratory together with Filippo Raimondo. I think it was a precious experience, which would be worth continuing, on the line of countering the natural and dangerous tendency to academic formalism, typical of architects, and the equally natural tendency to uncritical specialism, typical of engineers.