Institute of the History and Theory of Art and Architecture
The process of the construction of memory that the volume seeks to examine takes the form of a layered and complex examination of the political and social issues leading to the failure to build two important projects devoted to the traumas of World War II: the Memorial to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs designed by Louis I. Kahn, which was to have been built in New York (1967-1973), and Peter Zumthor’s design for the Topography of Terror Documentation Centre in Berlin (1993-2004).
A retrospective study of the history of commemorative architecture in the twentieth century clearly reveals the lack of importance attributed to unbuilt or unfinished memorials, of which, in most cases, only the documentation remains. However, as the American professor of English and Judaic Studies James E. Young suggests, the history of an unbuilt memorial could conceivably be more instructive than an account of one that has been built.
The history of the construction of a memorial is a task of excavation underpinning the complex process of visualising and materialising the intention of memory expressed by a specific group of individuals, in a given place and historical time. A memorial, in fact, is an architectural work conceived to belong to the public space: a highly stratified social, political and aesthetic place, to which the community at the same time assigns a fundamental cultural value. Seen in this perspective, investigating the historical and political dynamics, as well as the aesthetic and architectural factors that presided over the design of a memorial is an act of great historical awareness, since it helps reveal the way a community interprets its own past, in particular its memory of traumatic events.
In 1886 the international competition was announced for the reconstruction of the façade of Milan Cathedral, one of the most important competitions in that period. This volume traces its long and controversial history, and much more: photographs, engravings, reliefs and publications now kept in the Library of the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture and formerly owned by the Ticinese architect Augusto Guidini, one of the members of the competition jury, guide readers to the jurors’ table, revealing the organizational procedures of an international architectural competition in the late nineteenth century, as well as of the criteria adopted to assess the projects presented. For the first time the book brings together as a whole the rarest and most surprising element in the innovative method developed by the jurors: a photographic archive of all the historical projects for the cathedral façade all the way to the projects submitted to the competition. The result is a narrative in images that testifies to the reception of Gothic and the variations of taste in the various periods. The history of the cathedral façade thus becomes a mutable history in which time also unfolds, with its continuity and its ruptures, accumulating on the monument that is a symbol of the city of Milan.
Texts by: Carla Mazzarelli, Mirko Moizi, Daniela Mondini, Angela Windholz
Quale Gotico per Milano? I materiali della giuria per il concorso della facciata del Duomo (1886-1888)
edited by Angela Windholz,
Carla Mazzarelli, Mirko Moizi
16.5 x 23.5 cm, 172 pp.
113 ill. col.
€ 29 / frs 29.‒
By analysing issues of an attributional, iconographic and iconological nature, and studies in depth of the relationship of sculpture and architecture with social issues ‒ such as the management and organisation of building sites, the relation between the centre and the periphery, and the ties between workshops and individual craftsmen ‒ this volume offers a complete tool for understanding the complex panorama of sculpture in the State of Milan from the late 14th century to the early decades of the 16th century. The broad timespan examined, during which the Visconti were succeeded by the Sforza and then the French, enables us to follow the cultural and stylistic changes that characterised Milanese art between Late Gothic and the late Renaissance and to focus on the work of those sculptors who most influenced the artists contemporary with them: above all, the Masters of Campione and Carona, Jacopino da Tradate, the brothers Cristoforo and Antonio Mantegazza, Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, Cristoforo Solari and Bambaia, active, on various occasions and on several levels in the major building sites in the area, namely the Cathedral of Milan and the Charterhouse of Pavia, veritable centres of irradiation of Lombard figurative culture in the period. Furthermore, the emphasis placed on the movements made by the native workers in these Milanese regions and on the cultural and artistic exchanges that accompanied these movements, performed above all by the so-called “masters of the lakes”, means that the research it presents goes beyond the boundaries of Milan, ranging from Spain to modern Silesia and taking in Liguria, Venice, Ferrara, the Rome of Andrea Bregno and in the Sicily of Domenico Gaggini, bringing out the great scope of the themes addressed in the various contributions brought together in this volume.
Texts by: Alessandro Barbieri, Beatrice Bolandrini, Massimiliano Caldera, Laura Damiani Cabrini, Grégoire Extermann, Laura Facchin, Giuseppe Fazio, Rosa López Torrijos, Predrag Marković, Fernando Marías, Giovanni Mendola, Mirko Moizi, Charles R. Morscheck, Thomas Pöpper, Marco Scansani, Martina Schirripa, Federica Siddi, Mariusz Smoliński, Andrea Spiriti, Michela Zurla.
Gottfried Semper’s years of exile in London (1850-55) were a time of highly inspiring experiences. The London of the Great Exhibition offered the German architect an immense trove of objects for study and an intellectual environment that provided seminal impulses for his innovative cultural-historical theory of architecture. The present volume, resulting from a collaborative SNSF research project of the Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture, Università della Svizzera italiana, and the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, ETH Zurich, positions Semper as both an observer and actor in this period. It goes beyond focusing on Semper as an individual person and considers his work as a designer, teacher, and writer of architecture against the backdrop of the historical, architectural, and disciplinary surroundings.
Texts by: Elena Chestnova, Murray Fraser, Michael Gnehm, Sonja Hildebrand, Mari Hvattum, Claudio Leoni, Kate Nichols, Alina Payne, Philip Ursprung, Caroline van Eck, Dieter Weidmann, Beat Wyss.
Through an analysis of the artistic and social dynamics underlying the organisation and direction of the important construction site of Como cathedral, on which painters, master glass-makers, goldsmiths and sculptors were active, and by retracing the historiography of the four brothers Rodari, the volume reconstructs the work of Tommaso and his workshop, reordering the chronology of some works and proposing a linear path from his early to his late activity.
Preface by Giovanni Agosti.
This collection of studies investigates the works and cultural context of Giovanni Battista Mola and his son Pier Francesco, who hailed from Coldrerio (Canton Ticino, Switzerland) but were mainly active in Rome and the Papal States. Both were inquiring and many-sided, like their art. The former expressed his talent through architecture and historiographic writings; the latter, after an early training with his father, turned to painting, drawing and caricature, playing an important part on the Roman scene, where he was imitated by his pupils and colleagues as the highly appreciated inventor of new iconographic themes inspired by the ancient world.
Preface by Christoph Frank.
Texts by: Adriano Amendola, Sonja Brink, Patrizia Cavazzini, Valeria Di Giuseppe Di Paolo, Federico Fischetti, Axel Christoph Gampp, Carla Mazzarelli, Elisabeth Oy-Marra, Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, Antonio Russo, Giovanni Santucci, Cinzia Maria Sicca, Yuri Strozzieri, Caterina Volpi, Jörg Zutter.
I Mola da Coldrerio tra dissenso e accademia nella Roma barocca
Adriano Amendola, Jörg Zutter
19 x 24,5 cm, 328 pp.
190 ill. b/w, 18 ill. col.
€ 35 / frs. 40.‒
During the last twenty years, the topic of form has become one of the most controversial issues in public and professional discussions about architecture. Hardly anyone reflected on this as intensely as the 2015 Pritzker Prize winner Frei Otto, whose concept of Form-Finding is aimed at preventing any processes of designing or shaping.
This book aims to re-examine the issue by expanding on the exemplary case of Frei Otto. The subject is approached from varyingly wide perspectives, ranging from pathways to form in engineering research and in experimental model-making to the ideological-critical reflections on form by Oswald Mathias Ungers and Rem Koolhaas.
Texts by Elisabeth Bergmann, Daniela Fabricius, Roberta Grignolo, Sonja Hildebrand, Sean Keller, Kurt Möser, Gabriele Neri, Stefan Neuhäuser with Martin Weickgenannt, Christoph Witte, Walter Haase, Oliver Sawodny and Werner Sobek, Lara Schrijver.
Form-Finding, Form-Shaping, Designing Architecture. Experimental, Aesthetical, and Ethical Approaches to Form in Recent and Postwar Architecture
Sonja Hildebrand, Elisabeth Bergmann
19 x 24,5 cm, 180 pp.
56 ill. col., 51 ill. b/w
€ 32 / frs 35.–
Compelled to leave Bucharest in 1948, Ionel Schein (1927-2004) found political asylum in Paris, where his biography is entwined with that of some leading figures on the architectural scene of the time, such as Georges-Henri Pingusson, Le Corbusier, Jean Prouvé and Bruno Zevi, with whom he developed enduring relationships ranging from intellectual affiliation to professional collaboration. His projects are notable for a unified design embodying light prefabricated elements and a distribution system capable of evolving over time together with the needs of the inhabitants. This program would include futuristic prototypes, such as the first plastic house, a lightweight knockdown single-family residence, built entirely using synthetic materials in pop colours. This volume offers a reading of Schein’s work drawing directly on the architect’s archive, to date almost entirely unexplored.
Preface by Carlo Olmo. Afterword by Claude Parent.
«L’architecture est le jeu savant, correct et magnifique des volumes assemblés sous la lumière». Alluding to Le Corbusier’s famous statement of 1923, this collection of essays solicits critical reflection on the relationship between light and architecture, on both theoretical and practical levels. Beginning with a discussion of the problem of how to represent light and its effects within architectural space in different media (drawing, photography, film), it then examines the relationship between planning and hygiene-theories, focusing in particular on those which exercised their influence on the choice of orientation and exposure of buildings to the sun. On the technological front, finally, attention is turned to projects making use of the various devices, and then new, for the modulation of natural light, as well as to the many possibilities offered to designers by new technologies of artificial illumination.
Texts by Katrin Albrecht, Charlotte Ashby, Marcel Bächtiger, Daniel A. Barber, Silvia Berselli, Matthias Brunner, Marco Di Nallo, Valeria Farinati, Ruth Hommelen, Margaret Maile Petty, Éric Monin, Dietrich Neumann, Mary Reid Brunstrom, Lutz Robbers, Giuliana Scuderi, Nathalie Simonnot, Daniel Siret, Marie Theres Stauffer, Simona Talenti, Annarita Teodosio.
«Le jeu savant». Luce e oscurità nell'architettura del XX secolo / Light and Darkness in 20th Century Architecture
19 x 24.5 cm, 280 pp.
130 ill. b/w
italian, english, french
€ 32 / frs 40.–
Light is the essential medium across which space, forms, and colors become perceivable to the human eye. This collection of studies investigates the use of light – natural and artificial – in Christian architecture and art from late antiquity to the Baroque, revealing its complex symbolism and the modes in which it comes to be enacted. Thus, the following are analyzed: the architectonic dispositions that regulate daylight, the material culture that produces artificial illumination, the understandings of and reflections on the effects of light and shadow observed in literary, theological, and philosophical texts, as well as works of art, be they illuminated manuscripts, mosaics, frescos, or stained glass windows.
Texts by Sergio Bettini, Anna Bülau, Elena Castelli De Angelis, Fabio Fernetti, Francesca Galli, Iuliana Gavril, Vladimir Ivanovici, Brigitte Kurmann-Schwarz, Frank Martin, Mira Mocan, Daniela Mondini, Bettina Preiswerk, Nicolas Reveyron, Barbara Schellewald, Nadine Schibille, Angela Schiffhauer, Sophie Schweinfurth, Xenia Stolzenburg.
Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979), last century’s most famous Italian engineer, devised many of his architectural works by using sophisticated scale models which provided a preview of their stability. The result of elevated scientific knowledge and craft skills, these models accurately reflect Nervi’s ideas, always convinced of the necessary synthesis between engineering and architecture, science and art. The book is the result of lengthy historical archival research, enriched by a very full iconographic apparatus that reveals the exceptional nature of these “miniature masterpieces”.