A work of synthesis that critically illustrates the genesis and the various developments of modern architecture, from the institutional crisis of the 19th century to the collapse of the technological utopia in the 1970s.
From the institutional crisis of the 19th century many experiences of contemporary architecture began, as narrated in this book. After analysis of the urban planning of the second half of the 19th century in Europe and America, the itinerary covers individual interpretations of the “style” of the city, from the Neo-Romanesque of Berlage to the poetics of reduction of Loos, the futurist research of Sant’Elia to the birth of the Bauhaus under the direction of Walter Gropius. A large portion of the volume is naturally devoted to the 20th-century “masters” Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, and then to the multiple experiences of urban reform in Europe between the two world wars, a moment in which Italy went through its own “personal” aporia, but also produced architects of great quality like Michelucci, Nervi, Persico and Terragni. The conclusion focuses on interpretations of the 1970s after the collapse of the technological utopia; in Italy the work of Aymonino concludes the era of pluralistic dreams of politically committed culture.