The book retraces the phases of the very long career of Giovanni Michelucci, architect and man of culture, whose human and professional story is inextricably linked to the tormented history of Italy in the 20th century.
[Giovanni Michelucci. Catalogue of works] The year of Michelucci’s training were crucial ones for European culture: the sciences and techniques were undergoing profound changes that had a decisive impact on the modes and forms of the arts. Pistoia, the city of his birth (1891), was involved in the new cultural climate, and the local newspapers devoted space to cultural debate of great breadth, such as the discussion on Hermeticism, for example.
Michelucci’s design debut came in the context of a craft, the working of iron, which was part of his family tradition. Then came the war and the years of military service. On his return he created his first major work of architecture: the Caffè Moderno. He taught at a school of applied arts, with a teaching method based on collaboration and interaction with students. In 1925 he became a member of the Fascist Party, focusing his work increasingly on architecture. In 1926 he moved to Rome, where he designed and built the Institutes of Mineralogy and Physiology for the Città universitaria, and gained recognition as a key personality of Italian architectural culture. He continued professional practice until 1985. In this very long career he created many famous works, such as the railroad station of Florence (1932-35) and the church visible from the Autostrada del Sole at Campi Bisenzio (1960-64).