Roberto Dulio

Oscar Niemeyer. Il Palazzo Mondadori

Oscar Niemeyer. Il Palazzo Mondadori

Mondadori, the renowned publishing house founded by Arnoldo Mondadori in 1907, mark their 110th anniversary with a graphically updated edition of Oscar Niemeyer. Il Palazzo Mondadori (first published in 2007).

The book follows the construction of Palazzo Mondadori in Segrate, from the initial plans in 1968 to its completion in 1974, when it was inaugurated as the company’s headquarters.
A fascinating, in-depth look at the events that lead up to Oscar Niemeyer being awarded the project and at the building’s cultural significance and its importance within the context of the Brazilian architect’s work. Two slabs of reinforced concrete pierced by an imposing succession of arches support the glass prism housing the offices; the geometric rigour of the main building in perfect contrast with the secondary buildings rearing up from the surrounding waters.
The Mondadori building represents a departure from the architect’s habitual style, in which his extraordinary creativity was generally expressed in the buildings’ structural elements, with their gravity-defying, futuristic shapes, whereas here Niemeyer demonstrated his understanding of the indissoluble union between structure and shape.
Niemeyer’s original and previously unpublished sketches and blueprints, photographs of the construction and the finished work, plus Gabriele Basilico and Roland Halbe’s more recent photographic shoots, with pictures taken after the building’s completion, allow readers to retrace the steps of this project in a logical and engaging manner, regardless of their knowledge of contemporary architecture.

Oscar Niemeyer (Rio de Janeiro 1907 – 2012), a central figure in modern South American architecture, he contributed to the introduction of the modernist theories already popular in Europe, thanks to Le Corbusier’s influence. During his long career he received many awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1988) and the Praemium Imperiale (2004). His most famous works include: the Pampulha project (1943-44), São José dos Campos (1947), Ibirapuera (1951-54), the headquarters of the French communist party in Paris (1967-72), the Mondadori headquarters in Segrate (1968-75), the University of Constantine (1969-78), Le Havre’s cultural centre (1972), the FATA building in Turin (1977, with R. Morandi), the Latin American Memorial in Sao Paulo (1987), the Museum of Mankind in Brasilia (1994), the Embratel tower in Rio de Janeiro (1994), the Oscar Niemeyer museum complex in Curitiba (2001-02) and Ibirapuera auditorium in Sao Paulo (2002-05).

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