San Cataldo Cemetery

(Modena. Italy) 1971-73

The Utopian radical idea of a world whose political, economic, cultural and aesthetic order was to be overthrown, the pyramid turned upside down', as the architect Gian-carlo De Carlo called the anti-institutional, anti-authoritarian vision of May '68. affected not only the appearance of architectural artifacts. but also the very processes of their conception and production. This challenge to established values was deeply felt in most professions throughout the Western world.

But in Italy, where experiences of pluralistic collective bargaining were scarce and subject to exhaustive socio historical analysis (Gram-scian in their sophistication), the populist, reformist', 'anarcho architecture' proposed by Lucien Kroll (see pp. 44-4 7) or Herman Hertzberger (see pp. 4 8-51) was looked on as naive. With very few exceptions such as the work of Giancarlo De Carlo (see pp. 198-201). the May '68 campaign for cultural renewal was very quickly succeeded by either extremist activist movements which demanded the total and fundamental dismantling of the estab lished power structure, or by a profound pessimism about the possibility of any change at all. In the midst of this crisis - allegoncally portrayed by Fedenco Fellini at the end of the '70s in his film. Prova (ยก'Orchestra (1979) - a third position emerged.

This called for a return to traditional, pro fesslonal values, the norms of the craft' and the 'workshop', as the architect Giorgio Grassi called them. They were 'small things certainly", Aldo Rossi wrote in his Scientific Autobiography (1981), yet. "having seen that the possibility of the great ones was historically precluded". architects realized that these were the only objects they 'could have aspired to". Under most circumstances, this retour d I'ordre advice would have been perceived as conservatism, despite the fact that it came from the least conservative of architects. Given the excessive, self destructive situation of the architectural profession at the end of the 1960s, it was simply a sensible suggestion.

Central to the craft of architecture was 'typology'. Rossi's idea of typology (see pp. 60-63) was more complex than the standard one - the identification and choice of building types according to agreed architectural characteristics, a division of architectural

(Above) The ossuary (Right) Gonornl plan
0 0

Post a comment