Today among the students it is believed that the theme of the assumption of references consists in entering the unlimited quarry of withdrawal of projects that is the network: the reference is obviously only formal, linked to a subjectivistic "like" such as the "I like ”Of Facebook, which provides for an emotional rather than rational adhesion.
The question of typology, in vogue in the years of the Trend and then completely removed, must then be reconsidered: even here the judgment can no longer be “of alignment”; on the other hand Aldo Rossi in the years following his teaching in Pescara has already specified how a fundamentalist use of typology in teaching ended up constituting an excessive constraint for students.
The studies of Carlos Martì Arìs propose to recover that fil rouge with history, on which many contemporary projects are based, while declaring that they oppose it: it is a question of recovering the broad concept of "spiritual families", recognizing and motivating belonging, but also interpretations, variations and transgressions.
It is therefore a question of working more on analogy (of Rossiana's memory) than on imitation, coming to make unexpected discoveries, passing from time to time from Palladio to Le Corbusier to Rem Koolhaas: it is interesting to verify that a particularly innovative engineer, like Cecil Balmond (who comes from Ove Arup's “planetary” studio), links his digital and therefore numerical researches, for the engineering of the most complex projects of the so-called arch-stars, to the golden section of Renaissance memory.
I have mentioned Aldo Rossi several times because I believe that his brief - but foundational - stay in the first two years of the Pescara Faculty of Architecture can be interpreted not in a nostalgic way but in a proactive way, with an eye inevitably turned to the present and the future, but well founded on the past.
If in the following years, the rigid perimeter of the cognitive field operated by the professors of the so-called Tendenza (or Raggruppamento di Composition di Pescara) led to the exclusion of works by architects such as Louis Kahn or Oscar Niemeyer, the Rossian analogical approach still offers boundless openings. , unlimited whether you look back or turn towards the contemporary project: obviously I am not talking about the re-proposition of the forms that Aldo Rossi borrows from history, but about the procedure that consists in looking for possible references also for the projects that appear to us more imaginatively extravagant.
It is therefore the entire history of architecture that we must look at in order to draw references in a conscious way.
And so we come to the two questions proposed by the editorial staff of WOO:
"Can you tell us about an architectural / design / urban project that was important in your formation and that you consider appropriate to share with us students?"
"What do you think is the most representative design of this project?"
Probably Rossi's project for the town hall square in Segrate, a project that turns 50, struck me as a student for the desire to put historical materials back into the field such as the wall, the column, the tympanum, not merging them into a postmodern composition but placing them in a paratactic assembly, facing each other, in full autonomy at the same time. The most representative drawing consists of a black and white perspective with rather marked ink shadows and the shading of the plane and the sky obtained with the airbrush, a pre-digital technique with which I designed my degree thesis set in the center by Penne. The trees represented in the perspective were “taken” from Schinkel's drawings (also in the thesis…).
In my completed projects, some of which have had some critical success, for example by being published in "The architecture of the second twentieth century", Electa editions, edited by Claudia Conforti, my references may have crossed this project, going to research sources, in the world of the forms of the Enlightenment and the construction of Roman architecture, perhaps in search of the compliment that Adolf Loos condensed into the phrase “this is how the Romans would have built”.
In the project for the Saracen Area of Tricarico (Mt), the space of the small theater that stages the landscape is determined by two stone walls and a row of columns also in solid Bronzetto di Apricena; in the Parco di Serra Fridays in Matera the wall of the “camper port” is a backdrop made of tuff with horizontal appeals, cut according to tradition, counterpointed by slabs of Apricena stone; in the Garden of Physical Activities in Pomarico (Mt) the wall is this time made of bricks and draws a portico that refers to the hilly substructures (the complex of the Franciscan basilicas in Assisi), opening to the gaze from the landscape with a fountain with a clear Renaissance reference (villa Aldobrandini in Frascati).
The charm of this profession is on the one hand wanting to express a limited number of references with one's projects, which constitute a box of the chosen and favorite tools, on the other hand acquiring the awareness of the unlimitedness of the highest quality architectural proposals, which can be achieved with the pivotal tool that remains that of the journey: architecture must be visited, even as students; for now there is still no web that manages to give the sensation of entering the ruins of Petra, Jordan, or Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum in Forth Work (Texas).