240 the architecture of modern italy 241 the challenge of tradition 17501900 a

240 the architecture of modern italy 241 the

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240 the architecture of modern italy
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241 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900 a new urban infrastructure for rome Despite the evident political intentions described in the planning of monuments in Rome, no official master plan for the development of the city yet existed.Alessandro Viviani, director of the city planning office, provided the first. Never before had Rome had a global planner like Viviani, whose primary occupation was coordinating with the many agencies working at cross-purposes to develop projects in the city. Not even the Renaissance popes Julius II and Sixtus V had encroached upon the built-up core of the city.Viviani’s first master plan, ready in 1873, concentrated on linking Sella’s Città alta to the historical center, expanding the city to outlying areas in Testaccio and Trastevere, and tying in the Prati di Castello with new bridges.The gutting of the crowded area of the Vatican Borgo with the elimination of the so-called spina was also part of the plan. Viviani’s efforts, however, came to naught due to the instability, inefficiency, and collusion of the city administration; Rome’s first plan was not even presented to parliament for the consideration required to authorize expropriation. Infrastructural work demanded sums greater than the municipal coffers could bear and was ignored for ten more years. Instead, the city was left open to an unbridled building boom. The national government intervened only for the construction of the Tiber Embankment walls in 1875.Although the river is small in comparison to those of other European capitals, the deforestation of its hinterland provokes raging flows in the fall. Historically, roughly every thirty years a devastating flood submerged the city, followed by famine and pestilence.To counter the threat, tall protective walls replaced the muddy riverbanks and nearby buildings, including Torlonia’s Teatro Tordinona and, most sadly, the Porto di Ripetta.They were replaced with tree-lined thoroughfares, the “Lungotevere,” that serve as a ring road around the city center. For all their invasive impact upon the edges of the older city fabric, the embankments save the city from periodic flooding while improving hygienic conditions in the lower areas like the former
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the architecture of modern italy 4.35 Alessandro Viviani, Master Plan, Rome, 1883
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Ghetto. Massive public hydraulic engineering projects were, for the nineteenth century, symbols of modern progress, aspirations of former emperors and popes who had long dreamed of draining the Pontine Marshes and taming the torrents of rivers. When it finally became clear that the city could not handle this scale of public building by itself, the national government stepped in to provide the financial help.With the funding bill of 1881, the state committed itself to help the city, but only after the city presented a comprehensive master plan.Viviani set to work again. He had to integrate a specific list of public buildings the national bill required: a courthouse, an academy of sciences (the lingering influence of
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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