Novocentismo. Group established in Milan after the 1914–18 war, believing in a ‘call to order’. Including architects such as Muzio and Ponti, it was concerned with a return to Neo-Classicism, and favoured the symbolic use of historical motifs while accepting new ideas concerning space and building technology. Unlike some groups of the period (notably in France and Germany), its members expressed their ideas through architecture rather than through ranting polemic. During the 1920s Classical elements, such as architraves, recessed arched panels, and flat, thin layers of ornament, were employed, emphasizing the different planes of walls, but in the 1930s the Classical elements, if present at all, were so paraphrased that they became difficult to detect, and walls became treated with shallow panels, with piers and projections marking structural bays and floor-levels. Novocentismo merged with Italian Rationalism by 1933, and was closely associated (almost inevitably) with Fascism.
Jane Turner (1996)
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