Aldo Rossi

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Aldo Rossi (1931-97) Italian architect and theorist. He was the leading exponent of neo-rationalism. Though comparatively few of his designs have been built, but histheories on the nature of design formed an important part of contemporary architectural debate offering an alternative to the technological and functional emphasis of modernism. His designs were highly original, and often characterized both by bare geometrical forms such as cubes and cylinders, and also by traditional features of Italian architecture such as arcades and galleries. Words as well as drawings and buildings have distinguished him as one of the great architects. As a master draftsman, steeped in the tradition of Italian art and architecture, Rossi's sketches and renderings of buildings have often achieved international recognition long before being built. Among the most widely known of his works was He taught widely in Europe and the USA, and in 1990 founded an architectural school in Florida, USA. Each of Rossi's designs, whether an office complex, hotel, cemetery, a floating theatre, an exquisite coffee pot, or even toys, captures the essence of purpose. His book, Architecture and the City, published in 1966, is a text of significance in the study of urban design and thinking. He therefore, seeks to create urban space; he rejects the construction of autonomous solitaires. The designer-according to him-combines the building blocks of the task in hand in accordance with the logical rules of order, as if from a building set of memories. Out of this theoretical base came designs that seem always to be a part of the city fabric, rather than an intrusion. Ada Louise Huxtable, architectural critic and Pritzker juror has described Rossi as "a poet who happens to be an architect." His major works included o the Gallaratese 2 Housing Block in Milan, Italy (196774); o the San Cataldo cemetery in Modena, Italy (197182);

3 o the Apartment Complex in Rauchstrasse, Berlin, Germany (1983); o the School of Architecture at the University of Miami, Florida, USA o Teatro del Mondo (1979), a boxlike theatre built on a barge so that it can be floated along the canals of Venice.

HIS WORKSCemetery of San Cataldo,1971

The cemetery of Aldo Rossi is an analogical route through the collectiveimages of the "house of the dead". The columbed lined courtyard of an existing cemetery dating from the 19th century was joined by a second courtyard with further rooms.


The building, today partially completed, is structured in such a way as to

confine wide green spaces further marked by a criss-cross of pedestrian paths. The interplay of light and shadow on their raw steriometries becomes a catalyst for impressions which lead beyond the simple organization of the architectural elements. Without the hard southern light, the buildings would lose much of their vitality. Its empty square windows recesses symbolize the resting place of the dead. The colonnades with its niches for the reception of the urns in the upper storey, crosses the central axis of both cemetery complexes.

Quartier Schtzenstrasse Berlin, Germany

Aldo Rossi has used the historical urban structure of the division of landinto small plots as his concept for Quartier Schtzenstrasse. The individualized houses signal individual plots but the total number of facades exceeds the number of houses standing independently of each other. Two of the buildings are reserved exclusively for residential apartments the rest provide for a mixture of residential and commercial use.


The intense colorfulness, inspired by the colors of antique architecture,tie the block together and draws attention to the allotment structure, which distinguishes the individual houses. Rossi used particular colors for particular facade materials; the more "artificial" the material, the more "vivid" the color. Blaring green and bright red signal aluminium.

Muted colors; egg yolk yellow, carmine red and cornflower blue are all

stucco. The earthy tones shading into red- brown or yellow indicate bricks. The pale facades are two kinds of natural stone; light and dark gray, sand and pink. The silver-grey sheet metal stays as is.


The plan, inspired by the building blocks of 19th century Berlin, isorganized around two large and two small interior courtyards that fill the block with light. Large multiplicity of forms

the efforts beyond variations in color and material is very impressive The varying window shapes, the appointment of the attics, the plastic

development of the facades through extroverted and reticent sections, through sills and parapet; the sometimes expressly horizontal, other times explicitly vertical division of the mostly axial-symmetric facades; and finally their own, lightly staggered order all contribute to this effect.

Scholastic Building , 1995


The building's columnar Broadway facade, in steel, terra-cotta, andstone, echoes the scale and the formal, Classical character of its commercial neighbors. The rear facade, on Mercer Street, extracts a gritty essence from its more utilitarian surroundings of plain cast iron and weathered masonry. Paul Goldberger has praised the Scholastic design as "a building that will teach generations of architects the proper way to respond to historic contexts." One of the architect's best sketches for the Soho building shows the Broadway facade in mist and shadow, under the kind of irregular light that might have filtered through nineteenth-century coal smoke

School in Brani, 1979-1982


Town hall square with monument in Segrate,1965

The classrooms form a square within which the autonomous octagonal of the assembly hall raises from a ground base. Covered walkways lead from here in all 4 directions dividing the inner courtyard.

It has a comprehensive design. Planned a broad, shallow flight of steps, perimeter wall slabs with arch openings Has a row of low, truncated pillars and a monument to the members of resistance in world war II.

9 Circle, triangle and rectangle are the geometric forms from which its seemingly loosely-superimposed bodies are developed.

Gallaratese apartment block, Milan, 1969-73

Teatro del Mondo for the Venice Bienale, 1979

Linear apartment block Repetitive simple linearity and a monotonous street gallery that runs the entire length of the four storey building. The strip of housing marked off one edge of an enclave close to an autostrada intersection. Rossis design strategy was situated between what he called inventory and memory and involved deliberate fusion of earlier types. Had subtle illusions to pediments The formally grouped structural elements recalled the rows of columns.


Modena cemetery,1972

It is a floating theatre. Constructed from a timber frame and battening This small theatre on a barge on the grand canal takes its form from medieval and Renaissance inspirations, echoing the past glories of Venetian pageantry.


The ancient mausoleum had been cross bred with the abstract visions from the late eighteenth century. The arcade and the internal street typologies are used. The analogy is taken one step further into the anthropormorphic dimension to bring to the fore relationship between the physical structure of the building and the bodies cremated therein.


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