Archive for the ‘ Architecture ’ Category

Med in Italy: the house of the future

Med in Italy is a green house who self produces three times the energy it needs and consumes ten times less than traditional houses, and who will compete in the next September at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 – the international competition of sustainable architecture.

The project is implemented by a team of teachers and students of various Italian Universities and is inspired by the Mediterranean tradition of housing. Many ingenious devices like the walls built with wooden structures, the outdoor patio where grown fruits and vegetables, and the photovoltaic roof limit excursion temperature between night and day, maintaining an intermediate temperature within the building.

The components of Med in Italy are ready in less than 4 days, so that the house is also suitable for responding to an emergency like an earthquake.

Un appello per salvare Med in Italy from MedinItaly on Vimeo.

In addition to the support of partners who have decided to fund the project, Med in Italy also needs a final funding to be finished!

Help us to build the innovative and environmentally house of the future. Your contribute will help the designers team to bring the full-scale prototype of the house to Madrid and to continue testing it.

Help Us, Support the Italian sustainable innovation!

Follow it on its Facebook or Twitter account

Seen on


3D Reconstruction of Veduta della Catena, Florence

Here is the 3D reconstruction of the the famous Veduta della Catena (Chain Map). The video is going to be shown and explained by the Director of the Palazzo Vecchio Family Museum Paola Pacetti next sunday 20th February in Florence, during the eighth national meeting of Archaeologia viva.

This painting is in the historical-topographical Museum Firenze com’era.

Nineteenth Copy of the Veduta della Catena

The original print, the first known perspective map of Florence realized in 1470 and attribute to Francesco di Lorenzo Rosselli, is displayed at the Bode Museum in Berlin.

Original Chain Map (1470)

At the end of the XVth century, Florence counts 40.000 citizens.
The medieval walls surrounding the city leave out big green areas just outside a densely populated urban centre. Among the buildings, the symbols of civic and religious power stand out: Palazzo della Signoria, Palazzo del Podestà and the Cathedral, just completed with the Brunelleschi’s grandiose Dome. Close to the city walls, the houses are set all around the churches of the preaching orders of Santa Maria Novella, Santa Maria del Carmine, Santo Spirito. The Arno river, with its four medieval bridges, is lively with the intense activity animating its waters and banks. Notice how the main buildings, churches, bridges, city doors show inscriptions with their names.

Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, Rome

Last weekend I was in Rome as a tourist for a quick and enjoyable holiday.
When I was walking from Campo de’ Fiori (where I just had a great sandwich) to Pantheon, I suddenly found it on my left and I immediately was reminded of its peculiarities that no one knows.

Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne

The Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne is a Renaissance palace designed by Baldassarre Peruzzi in 1532-1536 on a site of three contiguous palaces owned by the old Roman Massimo family and built after arson destroyed the earlier structures during the Sack of Rome (1527).
The entrance is characterized by a central portico with six Doric columns, paired and single. Inside there are two courtyards, of which the first one has a portico with Doric columns as a basement for a rich loggia, which is also made of Doric columns. The recessed entrance portico differs from typical palazzo models such as exemplified by the Florentine Palazzo Medici.

Few people know the building is developed in only 2 / 3 of the façade, the designer included a small portion of the adjacent building on the left to create symmetry on entry as well as all of us now see.

Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, Plan

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, Rome, Italy

Approximately ten years ago as a student I had to go to Rome for a briefing at the IBM’s italian headquarters in Rome’s EUR district.
While traveling by taxy to via Cristoforo Colombo I suddenly saw it, I was really surprised because I had never been to EUR, I had not studied history of modern architecture, I didn’t know it … but I had seen it, when, where? I’m going to reveal you … follow me.

It’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (Palace of Italian Culture) also known as the Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro (Palace of Italian Culture of Work ) or simply the Colosseo Quadrato (Square Colosseum) and it’s an icon of Fascist architecture.

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

It was designed by the architects Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula and Mario Romano and constructed between 1938 and 1943. It was inaugurated on 30 November 1940 as the centerpiece of the EUR and continues to be its most iconic building. The structure is also considered one of the most representative examples of Fascist architecture at the EUR.

The design of the “Square Colosseum” was inspired more to celebrate the Colosseum, and the structure was intended by Benito Mussolini as a celebration of the older Roman landmark. Similar to the Colosseum, the palace has a series of superimposed loggias, shown on the façade as six rows of nine arches each.

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (Particular)

At the top of each of the four façades there is an inscription in capital letters:
(In English)
A nation of poets, of artists, of heroes,
Of saints, of thinkers, of scientists,
Of helmsmen, of transmigrants

Where did you see it?
You have seen it in a Nike’s advertisement of the nineties, where famous football players retrieved a ball kept inside the building.

see more

Danteum, Giuseppe Terragni, Rome, 1942

The Danteum is an unbuilt monument to Dante Alighieri designed by the modernist architect Giuseppe Terragni at the behest of Benito Mussolini‘s Fascist government. The design was presented at the 1942 Exhibition in Rome but it was not constructed.


Compositionally, the Danteum is conceived as an allegory of the Divine Comedy. It consists of a sequence of monumental spaces that parallel the narrator’s journey from the “dark wood” through hell, purgatory, and paradise. Rather than attempting to illustrate the narrative, however, Terragni focuses on the text’s form and rhyme structure, translating them into the language of carefully proportioned spaces and unadorned surfaces typical of Italian Rationalism.

In june 2007 Alessio Nanni composer and Rodolfo Migliari visual artist created a compositing and creative concept about acoustic and visual materials called Danteum.

Visual and acoustic "Danteum" Preview

This project wants to merge the visual and acoustic sensations in an unique body, where it’s impossible to watch the instalation without the sound and viceversa. The visual and acoustic ambient is defined by a very well-balanced background where the three elements earth, fire and water symbolize the three parts of the poem.

see more

Criticizing what you can’t criticize

Le Modulor

The architecture is a discipline that designs both small and everyday items, such as furniture components, and extremely large and complex structures dealt by planning.
Architecture is not an exact science, there aren’t scientific experiments or laboratory tests that indicate the right way to design.
During the construction work there might be another designer ready to ‘criticize’ our work because he says he knows a better way to projet.
Rarely it happens that who take charge of designing something is the same person who criticize harshly it, because he saw the difficulties encountered during implementation.
Necessarily you need a figure to judge from an external point of view as objectively as possible the architectural item.
In fact the architects’ world can be divided into two distinct roles as two sides of same coin: on one hand, the ‘designer’ that seeks to create something from nothing, despite many difficulties, on the other the ‘critical’, that retrospectively analyzes what has already been created.
How to design today comes from an old tradition, but in the future it will not be in this way. A day would be a designer who suddenly disrupts the “rules”. For exemple Le Corbusier with his ‘Five points of new architecture’ radically twisted the way to plan: he had the daring idea of using reinforced concrete for the buildings’ structure instead of the usual bearing masonry.

Villa Savoye

To be able to plan coul not “copy” the style of a master like many architects use as a secure foothold for a claim professional. The architecture is in harmony with its environment, with its limitations, its technical problems and the landscape. If not we would always have the same item, mass-produced in assembly lines, which go well both in the desert and in the Himalaian snowy peaks.
“Criticizing” it is equally difficult for an inexperienced designer that when he would try to criticize might run the risk to create a vicious cycle that only paralyzes any idea.
Many “Archistars” on the international scene are able to embody both figures, but their criticism born to learn from mistakes and to continually seeking the perfection of their architectural language.

seen on

Brion Cemetery, San Vito d’Altivole (TV), Italy

The Brion Cemetery is in San Vito d’Altivole near Treviso, Italy. Carlo Scarpa (1909-1978) designed the addition to a previous cemetery. He is buried in this cemetery in a well hidden spot under a very simple tombstone for a great architect like him, within the interstitial space created by the walls of the old and new cemeteries.

The perimeter walls are the same height as the surrounding corn, which deemphasizes the cemetery. It also includes an island which the visitor cannot access (arguably a metaphor for the afterlife).

Brion Cemetery

The window of the pavilion of meditation is in the form of a Vesica piscis, a repeated leitmotiv in Scarpa’s architecture. He had seen this mystical symbol in the absolute union betwen man and woman.

The Creator’s Words

“I would like to explain the Tomba Brion … The place for the dead is a garden….I wanted to show some ways in which you could approach death in a social and civic way…”

see more on wikipedia

see more on