The Galleria was an immediate commercial success thanks largely to its location

The galleria was an immediate commercial success

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The Galleria was an immediate commercial success, thanks largely to its location between the theater and the cathedral and the 201 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900
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the architecture of modern italy 4.12 Emmanuele Rocco and Francesco Paolo Boubée, Galleria Umberto I, Naples, 1885–92
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203 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900 channeling of pedestrian traffic flow through the complex. License requests for eight hotels, five caffès, forty-two shops, a concert hall, public baths, and a pharmacy were received.The end result was a fluid space of encounter for the middle class, an augmentation of caffè society, a commercialization of theater life, and a secularization of the cathedral’s neighborhood. Mengoni also designed the new markets for Florence at San Lorenzo in 1874.The French-style, iron-and-glass-covered market hall is wrapped in a shell of gray rusticated stone, appropriately Florentine in style. Models of Mengoni’s on-going projects were proudly displayed at the Vienna world’s fair of 1873 and many Italian architects emulated his work. In 1855, a galleria was built directly across from the Teatro San Carlo in Naples by Emanuele Rocco and Francesco Paolo Boubée.The Galleria Umberto I closely followed Mengoni’s model: it formed a direct pedestrian connection to a popular cultural institution (the opera house) and channeled traffic from an important city center (the Piazza del Plebiscito). Here too was an exuberant display of iron and glass technology capped by a lofty dome. Although the two gallerias were speculative capitalist instruments, their dedications to royalty charged them with collective imagination. The general public was involved through lottery subscription, and its practical concerns and tastes were anticipated and served.Together, they managed to create a thoroughly cogent representation of contemporary Italian society (unlike Antonelli’s folly in Turin). If Piranesi accused the patronage system of his day of lagging behind the genius of Italy’s architects, by the mid-nineteenth century, the tables had turned: Mengoni and his followers were of the architects prepared to respond to the material and economic reality of Italian unity. Milan’s building industry flourished in the absence of any enforceable regulatory measures (or figures prepared to enforce them).This came to an end when developers’ sights fell on the Piazza d’Armi, the former Foro Bonaparte, and the adjacent Castello Sforzesco.This rapaciousness spurred and was then thwarted by national preservation legislation.The area was saved as a public park, and the castle underwent an extensive restoration project by Luca Beltrami.
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Further development was pushed out of the city core, as specified by an 1885 master plan drawn up by municipal engineer Cesare Beruto. Giovanni Battista Pirelli, an engineer who imagined an electric mass transportation system for the growing city, consulted on the project.The swath of Milan’s peripheral expansion was rationalized in a concentric pattern expanding in all directions like the growth rings of a tree. Radial routes connected the periphery to
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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