Archive for the ‘ Modern ’ Category

Copacabana Promenade, Rio De Janeiro, Roberto Burle Marx, Brasil

Few years ago when I was a student yet, my professor of city planning told us about his dear friend who had recently died, his friend was a brasilian landscape architect called Roberto Burle Marx.
My professor knew him when he wrote a book about the beautiful gardens designed by him.

Truly I witnessed a wonderful lesson and I saw the gardens so beautiful and so loved by the Brazilian people. One in particular struck my attention, not because it was more beautiful than others, because they were all beautiful, but because I had already seen it but I didn’t remember where.
I was particularly impressed by the Copacabana Promenade in Rio De Janeiro where there is a pavement landscape in large scale (4 kilometres long).
It was completed in 1970 and has used a black and white Portuguese pavement design since its origin in the 1930s: a geometric wave.

Copacabana Promenade, Rio De Janeiro, Brasil

Where did I see it?
I dug into my memory when I was a kid and I watched many cartoons … and I finally remembered where.
I saw it in the 6th animated feature produced by Walt Disney called Saludos Amigos, in the 4th segment Aquarela do Brasil (or “Watercolor of Brazil”) where a brand-new character, José Carioca, showed Donald Duck around South America and introduced him to the samba.

Copacabana Promenade, Portuguese Pavement

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.

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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.

Danteum

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.

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