In the second half of the 20th century, the architectural search of postwar period strains for reaching an alternative offer of the modernity. You appear as Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Braun, Charles Moore and Robert Stern were promoting, in tuning in with the consumer capitalism, a return to the representation and the symbolism suppressed by the modern movement, not to update the design but to supplant it.
Simultaneously in England the theoretical work of Banham, the contextualismo of the brothers Smitshon and the schemes of illusory of Archigram, they look for the way of updating the modern movement by means of the use of a language of technological expression more forceful that one progresses some years later in the work of Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano and Norman Foster.
In Italy, happening in this context and while the movement NeoLiberty dissolves in his own difficulties, Aldo Rossi’s figure emerges as the most suggestive theoretical and coherent voice of the architectural panorama.
Rossi adopts a rigid position that it is born in the admiration for Adolf Loos’s rationality and bases in his writings, where he proposes the construction of a rational structure that stimulates to think over every project of a scientific way, poking analogous relations with the place.
Rossi conceives the architecture as an inseparable creation of the civil life and of the company in which it demonstrates, but constructed with few elements that come from archetypes of the collective memory, to coordinate a rigid world joined his urban essence that does not complicate the man provoking passional wills.
This metaphysical immanence that he proposes waves local images to reduce them to archetypes of the collective memory by means of geometric elementary forms. In an almost surrealistic way, the analogous city is nourished of the urban reality to construct a new reality, happening the knowledge acquired by the analysis typological.
The unvariants come from schematic drawings that undress works of the popular architecture invoking simple figures that escenifican urban evocations, making concrete a scientific way of cataloguing and qualifying the architectural project. In the development of this exercise, the cylinder personifies to the columns of the antiquity, the equilateral triangle to the eardrum, the semisphere or the pyramid to the dome and the square to the window.
Since this alone knowledge is perceptible for a social context that shares the same collective memory, the evolution of the traditional values is intimately related to these studies. For this reason, the analysis must be improved in every city by means of the methodical fragmentation of his memory, poking the historical tradition aligned to the different periods of the local architecture.
The transcendent signs of the expressive will are defined by it as monuments, for that he proposes scanty rules in pursuit of avoiding the disorder of the modern city. To these guidelines of simplicity, proportion and clarity typological, the locus they awards the character necessary for the morphologic analysis, because he supposes the universal relation that governs the local constructions.1
By means of the scientific logic, Rossi plans the parameters that give form to his architecture, though the analogies are submitted to a process of purification so exhaustively that it softens the semantics of the monuments in conceptual constructed schemes.
Though the own Rossi does not deny the ambiguity that he proposes, the archetypal investigation diminished to so scanty elements gives like proved a generic object that only is sublimated by the light and gets excited by means of the use of the color and the strict way of his geometry.
Rossi’s statement invokes to the history to install the scientific investigation as a fact liminar of the process of architectural design. And in this aspect, though his syntax turns out to be so extreme that it makes complex the connection of his analogies with other elements of the urban environment, his work tries to put in debate an invaluable challenge for recovering the identity of the cities by means of the rational reading of his urban facts.
Marcelo Gardinetti. Architect
La Plata, Argentina. November 2015
1. “…The value of the locus has distinguished itself often, understanding with it that singular relation and nevertheless universal that exists between certain local situation and the constructions that are in that place.” Aldo Rossi, La arquitectura de la ciudad, GG colección punto y línea, pag. 185