Monday, 4 January 2010


I am extremely proud of having found this building in Rome (area Pyramide) and would lay down a challenge to all comers to find anything remotely like it in the rest of the city....which possibly proves something Terry Kirk points out in his very useful guide to 20C Italian Architecture..which is that while Milan was open to rationalism & technology for it's post war architecture , Rome wasn't so keen - preferring to keep faith with ideas based on mass and monumentality* instead. (More images here).


The area in Rome where I stayed over Christmas is about twenty minutes walk from the historic centre south of the Tiber, is almost entirely residential and, I'd guess, began to be developed in the 1930s.

It's typical structure is the apartment block between 5 and 8 storeys high, squarish on plan, sometimes with parking below but often not. A block might have fifteen flats in it and these blocks follow the streets, which follow the hilly ground.

While it all works well enough (apart from the desperate lack of parking) there's precious little to point a camera at either, so I was glad to find this - which I am told was quite well publicised when built - and which now functions as an old people's home on the lower floors and private apartments above.

Anyone who saw my photos last month of Lockyer House in Putney will no doubt be immediately struck by the connection.


Lastly, a big hulking chunk of raw concrete in the form of the Lyceo Scientifico Statale 'G.B.Morgagni' which demonstrates the sublime marriage of verdure, concrete and decay as well as the tendency brutalist architects have to use a particular colour of blue for their entrance gates (see here for another example of this little known phenomenon).

And if anyone has a picture of a knobblier bit of bush hammering, then I'd like to see it.

*Kirk sites Rome's Fosse Ardeatine war memorial as being a key example of this Roman monumentalism.

Additional images of all of the above buildings can be found on my Flickr site and I apologise in advance for the quality which does't by any means do them justice. From now on I take the proper camera.

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