The learning of history is always a complex task one that in the Italian

The learning of history is always a complex task one

This preview shows page 10 - 12 out of 280 pages.

on our image of Italy.The learning of history is always a complex task, one that in the Italian environment is complicated by the changes wrought everywhere over the past 250 years. Culture on the peninsula continues to evolve with characteristic vibrancy. Italy is not a museum.To think of it as such—as a disorganized yet phenomenally rich museum unchanging in its exhibits—is to misunderstand the nature of the Italian cultural condition and the writing of history itself.To edit Italy is to overlook the dynamic relationship of tradition and innovation that has always characterized its genius. It has never been easy for architects to operate in an atmosphere conditioned by the weight of history while responding to modern progress and change.Their best works describe a deft compromise between Italy’s roles as Europe’s oldest culture and one of its newer nation states.Architects of varying convictions in this context have striven for a balance, and a vibrant pluralistic architectural culture is the result.There is a surprisingly transparent top layer on the palimpsest of Italy’s cultural history.This book explores the significance of the architecture and urbanism of Italy’s latest, modern layer. 10
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This book is a survey of architectural works that have shaped the Italian landscape according to the dictates of an emerging modern state.The idea of Italy had existed as a collective cultural notion for centuries, but it was not until the late nineteenth century that Italy as a political state became a reality. It was founded upon the strength of the cultural tradition that brought together diverse regional entities in a political whole for the first time since antiquity.The architecture and the traditions it drew upon provided images and rallying points, figures to concretize the collective ideal. Far from a degradation of tradition—as superficial treatments of the period after the baroque propose—Italy’s architectural culture reached a zenith of expressive power in the service of this new nation by relying expressly on the wealth of its historical memory. Elsewhere in Europe, the tenets of a modern functionalism were being defined, tenets that are still used rather indiscriminately and unsuccessfully to evaluate the modern architecture of Italy.The classical tradition, now doubly enriched for modern times by the contributions of the intervening Renaissance, vied in Italy with forces of international modernism in a dynamic balance of political and aesthetic concerns.An understanding of the transformation of the Italian tradition in the modern age rests upon a clarification of contemporary attitudes toward tradition and modernity with respect to national consciousness. Contemporary scholarship has demonstrated the benefits of breaking down the barriers between periods. Notions of revolution are being dismantled to reconstruct a more continuous picture of historical development in the arts.Yet our vision of modern Italian architecture is still characterized by discontinuities. Over the last fifty
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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