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Aldo Rossi and the Spirit of Architecture

by Diane Ghirardo Yale University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 280 pages
AU$122.99 NZ$126.95
Product Status: In Stock Now
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This crucial reassessment of Aldo Rossi’s architecture simultaneously examines his writings, drawings and product design, including the coffee pots and clocks he designed for the Italian firm Alessi. The first Italian to receive the Pritzker Prize, Rossi rejected modernism, seeking instead a form of architecture that could transcend the aesthetic legacy of Fascism in postwar Italy. Rossi was a visionary who did not allow contemporary trends to dominate his thinking. His baroque sensibility and poetic approach, found both in his buildings and in important texts like The Architecture of the City, inspired the critic Ada Louise Huxtable to describe him as ‘a poet who happens to be an architect’.
Diane Ghirardo explores different categories of structures – monuments, public buildings, cultural institutions, theatres and cemeteries – drawing significantly on previously unpublished archival materials and always keeping Rossi’s own texts in the forefront. By delving into the relationships among Rossi’s multifaceted life, his rich body of work and his own reflections, this book provides a critical new understanding of Rossi’s buildings and the place of architecture in postwar Italy.
“A masterpiece of analysis.” - Mark Jarzombek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Diane Ghirardo makes a powerful claim about Rossi’s architectural achievements and artistic identity, locating his religious perspective and baroque sensibility at the root of his originality.” - Giuseppe Mazzotta, Yale University


Diane Y. F. Ghirardo is professor of the history and theory of architecture at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.