The Early1930s Masterplan By Architects

According to the new plan developed in 1931-1933 and finalized in 1934, between 1928 and 1933 alone Tripoli's total population had grown from 63,400 to 88,900 inhabitants.31 Because the 1914 plan had not provided for such expansion, the Tripoli government commissioned a new plan, from Benghazi's planners Novecentisti Alpago Novello, Cabiati, and Ferrazza, approving it late in 1933, and passing it into law in 1934 (Figure 3.12). The city had spread far to the east, and road connections between...

History 18691943

1 Rochat, G. (1992) Il colonialismo italiano, in N. Labanca (ed.) LAfrica in vetrina. Storie di musei e di esposizioni coloniali in Italia, Paese Pagus, pp. 9-15, pp. 10, 12. 2 One useful way of distinguishing between imperialism and colonialism is to separate them in . . . spatial terms and to think of imperialism . . . as the phenomenon that originates in the metropolis, the process which leads to domination and control. Its result, or what happens in the colonies as a consequence of imperial...

Lost Civilization And Native Houses In Eritrea

Although classical discoveries in Libya and the Dodecanese Islands dominated Italians' curiosity about the colonies in the 1910s and 1920s, East Africa was not overlooked entirely. One exception to the general lack of historic interest in the Horn of Africa appeared in 1912, when a geologist and a geographer, Giotto Dainelli and Olinto Marinelli, published the findings of their travels through Eritrea in 1905-1906. They devoted a chapter to archaeological vestiges in the highlands, treating...

The Rise Of Italys Professional Architectural Institutions After Unification

Before a new kind of architectural training became available in 1920, different Italian specialists designed buildings specialists in engineering and ornamentation. As elsewhere in Europe, the split between technical and artistic approaches to architecture made its practice inconsistent. The idea of instituting an architecture university to overcome this inconsistency had been broached in Italy as early as 1859, when new technical schools (modeled on France's Ecole Polytechnique) opened. While...

Architecture In The 1920s Displaced Historicism And Regionalism

When Volpi became Governor of Tripolitania in '92', relatively little effort had been put into implementing Tripoli's masterplan. Volpi undertook an energetic urban program, returning to the city's development, and promoting its archaeological heritage. The earlier impulse of archaeologists and art historians to identify a few structures for preservation reached a new level of governmental rationalization when Volpi had an index of worthy buildings compiled. His administration also moved to...

Geographies

W. (1993) Culture and Imperialism, New York Knopf, p. 11. 2 Rochat, G. (1992) Il colonialismo italiano, in N. Labanca (ed.) L'Africa in vetrina. Storie di musei e di esposizioni coloniali in Italia, Paese Pagus, pp. 9-15, p. 10. 3 See Gambi, L. (1994) Geography and imperialism in Italy from the unity of the nation to the 'new' Roman Empire, in A. Godlewska and N. Smith (eds) Geography and Empire, Oxford Blackwell, pp. 74-91 Cerreti, C. (ed.) (1995) Colonie africane e cultura italiana...

Planned Agricultural Settlements

We aren't emigrating though, are we We're still going to our home, even more so we were born here in Italy , but there in Libya we will have land From a distance, the village which looked like a great whiteness of evenly distributed dice, could have been an Arab settlement But this was no Arab village, there was no white minaret.' While some architects in the early '930s engaged in recriminations about showcase architecture in Tripoli, a handful of others extended their practice into a field...

Names And Nicknames

In addition to the three conceptual geographies I have just outlined - imprisonment vs. freedom glorious antiquity vs. low status and having an Empire vs. becoming a colony - I want to outline another geography that of names (or toponyms). We have already seen that the Italian government named both Eritrea and Libya, choosing these names for their connotations of ancient Roman hegemony but popular nicknames added greater variety to how the Italians involved in imperialism pictured them. As with...

Islands Of Ethnicity Planned Agricultural Settlements

P. (1941) I villaggilibici, Turin Edizioni Arione, pp. 32, 35, 36. 2 Cresti, F. (1996) Oasi di italianita. La Libia della colonizzazione agraria tra fascismo, guerra e indipendenza 1935-1956, Turin Internazionale, p. 50. Definitive numbers of colonists have not been compiled, but the various statistics suggest a total of between 100,000 and 150,000 Italian colonists in the Libyan state-sponsored settlements by the end of colonial occupation. Also see Fowler, G. L. (1969) Italian...

The Istituto Nazionale Di Urbanistica Conference 1937

Such observations were further developed in 1937, in the large conference held by the National Urbanism Institute (Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica). One section of the conference was dedicated to colonial planning, and yielded a volume of twenty-two essays.22 (Interestingly, most of the contributions were from engineers rather than architects, which did not prevent Rava from rehearsing his battle cry that architect-urbanist s should be at the apex of the building hierarchy.)23 Like the Volta...

Tripoli

In a mere twenty-five years, Italy has transformed this city into a nearly European capital Modern Tripoli is quite an Italian success Latin Tripoli has become Italian again with ease Are we in Milan, in Rome ' We have already seen that Italian planning in Tripoli immediately after '912 did not derive from grandiose visions of long-term growth or prestige, focusing instead on cost-conscious solutions to pressing problems. The original plan's essential premises - shaping the new quarters' rapid...

Tripoli And The Dodecanese 19111912

The next major threshold in Italian colonialism after Adwa was the conquest of Tripoli and other coastal cities of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica (Tobruk, Darna, Benghazi, and Khums), beginning in 1911.16 In one respect, this was an event of world-historical significance, as it marked the first military use of air power Italian planes dropped four bombs on camps outside of Tripoli on 1 November 1911.17 This successful aggression against the dwindling Ottoman Empire brought Italians' colonialist...

Mediterraneanist Variations 1931

By the early 1930s, architectural circles' growing discussions of colonial architecture had begun to attract the attention of prominent critics. Roberto Papini, for instance, reviewed an exhibition of colonial art held in Rome in 1 931.35 His review did not offer any particular novelty in the domain of stylistic criticism, but it publicized architects' growing wish that government - in particular, the Ministry of Colonies - would oversee and coordinate architectural production in the colonies....

Houses And Centers For Italians

The government's shift to direct sponsorship of intensive settlement programs is relevant here because it marked the transition to a systematization of settlement designs, under the direction of the Agency's architects. At the same time, just as the theorizations of architects we considered in earlier chapters did not influence all of architectural practice in Tripoli, architectural formulations did not reshape all of the concessions' designs, or even building terminology. Italian and local...

Italian Colonial Architecture And Planning In Comparative Context

While this book describes how architecture in the Italian colonies was seen differently across a long historical arc, it is also fundamentally comparative, charting the organizing concepts of Italian colonial architecture as they applied to different regions and cultures in North Africa, East Africa, and the Mediterranean. My focus on organizing concepts brings me to read architects' published texts and bureaucrats' memoranda more closely than I do particular buildings or particular cities....

Italian Colonialism In Retrospect

To be sure, the history of Italian colonialism bears some comparison to histories of other European colonialisms. But despite Italians' many efforts to catch up (with France and Britain in particular), theirs is a distinctive case which cannot always be understood by referring to other European colonial histories. Italy entered very late into the era of modern European colonialism. Its colonial policies might well have continued in the increasingly oppressive direction they had been taking, but...

Addis Ababa In 1936

Italian authors consistently represented Addis Ababa as a non-urban city, with no permanent structures or monuments worthy of the name. Planners, in their texts, depicted it as a nearly blank slate on which they laid out their grand designs. But in fact, Addis Ababa was already an important market hub participating in the world economy despite its geographic remoteness. It harbored a large international presence, both commercial and diplomatic. The market hosted a Saturday crowd of 30,000 to...

After Italys Defeat At Adwa

In the wake of this national disaster, politicians were reluctant to pursue Italian expansion any further. In late 1896, the government signed a treaty with the Emperor abandoning any designs on Ethiopia. Eritrea was assigned its first civilian governor, Ferdinando Martini, in 1897, when the colony was commonly judged to be a failure due to its poor agricultural results and high cost. Over the decade he served as governor, Martini changed this perception by establishing stable relations with...

The Beginnings Of Italian Colonialism From Aseb To Adwa 18691896

Italian colonialism began with a single capital investment. In 1869, the inaugural year of the Suez Canal and a mere eight years after Italian national unification, the Rubattino shipping company independently purchased rights over a six-kilometer stretch of land at the Red Sea port of Aseb from local sultans.5 The company's agent, Giuseppe Sapeto, hoped to draw the Italian government into a colonial role. By the late 1930s, the government would be the principal economic support for all of the...

The Mediterranean 1910s1920s

With their occupation of Tripoli in 1911-1912, Italians' attitudes to colonial city planning and architecture began to enter a new phase. For the first time, the Civil Corps of Engineers in Rome drew up a master plan for a colonial city (1912-1914).34 In part, this new level of government oversight stemmed from the value Italians placed on Tripoli, their first Mediterranean colonial city and part of a once-Roman province. On a larger scale, though, this first-time government involvement with a...

East Africa 1880s 1900s

Cities were the first zones of Italian occupation in East Africa, and the military administrators in charge there analyzed security questions above all. Although the government intended to settle Italian farmers in the long term (in Eritrea especially), its first major extra-urban constructions were forts.2 Once security became less of a preoccupation, responsibility for urban constructions and maintenance shifted from the military to the Ministry of Public Works. Nonetheless, in the coastal...

Against Inauthentic European Architecture 1929

Carlo Enrico Rava's 1929 article on Tripoli, We Must Respect the Character of Tripoli's Architecture (Dobbiamo rispettare il carattere dell'edilizia tripolina), in contrast, not only voiced an appreciation for local buildings it also expressed a holistic view of the city and its parts, placing unprecedented emphasis on the colony's landscape and its role in generating appropriate architecture.18 By the mid-1920s archaeologists of art had already set a pattern of negating local architecture's...

Three Colonialurbanistic Modes

In 1929, a young architect, Carlo Enrico Rava, published an essay on Tripoli, the Libyan capital, which had been under Italian occupation since 1911. He argued for a modernist sensibility in Italian buildings, one in which forms would be adapted to the local climate and topography. In doing so, he positioned himself against two other kinds of builders in Tripoli. One set of builders had for some time been copying French and British usages, in colonies and at home, of concocted neo-Moorish...

Italians In The Colonies

Italian Colonies

Ann Stoler has explained variations in Europeans' colonial behavior on the basis of divisions among themselves 121 indeed, internal class differences help explain Italians' apparent nonchalance in some circumstances, regarding not only contact with natives, but their own laws. The use of clothing in particular as a marker for inclusion shows that Italians in the colonies applied the same grid for discrimination in the colonies as they did in Italy, where such indices as clothing were part of a...

Architecture From 1928 To 1934 Architectural Pluralism

It was into this architectural environment that a new generation of architects began to arrive in '928. Neither retrained decorators nor engineers, these were the same theory-driven architects who were on the rise in Italy Novecentisti and Rationalists. Furthermore, these years saw various competitions for large urban projects.'9 For both of these reasons, some scholars have described Tripoli in this period as an architectural laboratory or testing ground.20 Alessandro Limongelli, a classically...

Acknowledgments

This project would have been impossible without the generous support of a number of funders and institutions. I traveled to Rhodes, Libya, and Ethiopia thanks to grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the American Institute of Maghrib Studies, and the American Philosophical Society. A Fellowship from the Wolfsonian Foundation allowed me to explore its extraordinary collections. For research in Italy, I am grateful to the cole Fran aise de Rome, the Cesare...

The Colonial Built Environment Untheorized 1880s1920s

1 Zagnoni, S. 1993 L'Eritrea delle piccole citta. 1897-1936, Gresleri et al. 1993 pp. 145-163, p. 146. 2 See Apollonio, F. I. 1993 L'architettura del cannone occupazione e opere di fortifi-cazione, Gresleri et al. 1993 pp. 127-143. 3 See Zucconi 1989 and Horn, D. G. 1994 Social Bodies. Science, Reproduction, and Italian Modernity, Princeton Princeton University Press. 4 Cf. King 1976, Rabinow 1989, Goerg 1997. 5 MAE, ASMAI, I, Eritrea, posizione 11 9, fascicolo 94, Regolamento per le...

Architects Comments

Florestano Fausto Tripolitania

Architects' taciturnity concerning the Libyan settlements is all the more striking in light of the otherwise abundant propaganda, as well as the fact that they published more profusely on the New Towns in the metropole.6 Since 1932, the principal agency in charge had been the Agency for the Colonization of Cyrenaica Ente per la colonizzazione della Cirenaica , which then became the Agency for the Colonization of Libya Ente per la colonizzazione della Libia , and the programs had been developing...

Modern Italian Architecture 1910s1930s

2 Quoted in Compagnin, L. and Mazzola, M. L. 1976 La nascita delle scuole superiori di architettura in Italia, in Danesi and Patetta 1976 pp. 194-196, p. 195. 3 On Italian architectural education, see Compagnin and Mazzola, La nascita, on which I draw here De Stefani, L. 1992 Le scuole di architettura in Italia. Il dibattito dal 1860 al 1933, Milan FrancoAngeli and Nicoloso 1999. 4 Cf. McLaren 2001, which focuses primarily on appropriation of North African design solutions. 7 See Meeks, C. L....

The Aesthetic Return 1937

Florestano Fausto Tripoli

At this juncture, publications continued to multiply, but they almost always reiterated the positions that had been voiced over the last decade. In 1936, the Architects' Union held colonial-architectural conferences that mostly rehashed works already in print.89 The only innovation was some architects' subtle reorientation to Italian vernacular architectural traditions, rather than local ones, as a basis for colonial designs.90 In fact, this distinction was largely semantic, as it spoke of...

Illustration Credits

Cover Apollonj, B. 1937 L'attuale momento edilizio della Libia, ARC 16.2 pp. 793-817, image from p. 807 Intro.1 Levi Montalcini, G., Mollino, C., and Pifferi, E. 1936 Civilt , Intro.2 No date author's collection 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Maps by Brien K. Garnand 2.1 Cover of The Sphere, 4 November 1911 volume 47, number 615 2.2 Giammuso Mancioli, 1940 author's collection 2.3 No date author's collection 2.4 Haimann, G. 1886 Cirenaica Tripolitania , 2nd edition, Milan Hoepli, image from p. 178 2.5 Istituto...

The Italian Colonial City Tripoli

1 Guibon, A. 1939 Au volant sur la Translibyenne, Dieppe La Floride, pp. 11-12. 2 The latter figure included 12,358 Italians and 2,434 foreign residents. Braun, E. 1986 1914 The New Tripoli, and What I Saw in the Hinterland, London Darf Publishers, p. 89. Just eight years earlier, the population had approximated 30,000, including 4,000 Christians . . . living in a curious promiscuity with the natives Pinon, R. 1904 L'empire de la M diterran e, Paris Perrin, p. 293. 3 MAE, ASMAI, Eritrea,...

Colonial Modern 1920s1940s

2 Melis, A. 1935 Architettura coloniale, AIT 30 pp. 264-302 p. 264. 3 In addition, many of these constructions were the work of Italian designers. See Volait, M. 1987 La communaut italienne et ses diles, Alexandrie entre deux mondes, Revue de l'Occident musulman et de la M diterran e 46, 4 pp. 137-155 Environmental Design Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre 8, 9-10 1990 Volait, M. ed. 2001 Le Caire - Alexandrie. Architectures europ ennes 1850-1950, Cairo Institut fran...

Imperial Urbanism 19361937

2 AlSayyad, N. 1992 Urbanism and the dominance equation reflections on colonialism and national identity, AlSayyad 1992 pp. 1-26, p. 5. 3 See Royer, J. ed. 1932-1935 L'urbanisme aux colonies et dans les pays tropicaux, 2 volumes, La Charit -sur-Loire Delayance and Abu-Lughod 1980. 4 See the call issued by Architettura to all architects, urging them to participate in the development of AO I ARC, eds 1936 Appello agli architetti italiani, ARC 15, 1 pp. 241-244. 5 Rava, C. E. 1929 Dobbiamo...

The Italian Imperial City Addis Ababa

1 Poggiali, C. 1938 La nuova Addis Abeba, AA11, 2 pp. 455-493 p. 459. 2 Pankhurst, R. 1985 History of Ethiopian Towns from the Mid-Nineteenth Century to 1935, Stuttgart Steiner-Verlag-Wiesbaden, pp. 212, 216. 3 Denis, J. 1965 Addis Abeba, gen se d'une capitale imp riale, Bujumbura, Burundi University Press, p. 288 and Pankhurst, History, p. 212. 4 Pankhurst, History, pp. 212, 225-226. 8 Pankhurst, R. 1961 Menelik and the foundation of Addis Ababa, Journal of African History 11, 1 pp. 103-117,...

Edited by Thomas A Markus and Anthony D King

Architectural discourse had traditionally represented buildings as art objects or technical objects. Yet buildings are also social objects in that they are invested with social meaning and shape social relations. Recognizing these assumptions, the Architext series aims to bring together recent debates in social and cultural theory and the study and practice of architecture and urban design. Critical, comparative, and interdisciplinary, the books in the series, by theorizing architecture, bring...