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Portoghesi, Paolo

Portoghesi, Paolo (1931– ). Italian architect who established his practice in Rome in 1958 and formed a partnership with Vittorio Gigliotti in 1964. He was among the first modern Italian architects to turn to historical precedents and away from so-called Rationalism, drawing on Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau, and various other styles to influence his buildings, though without direct quotations. The Church of the Sacra Famiglia, Salerno (1968–74), incorporated complex interlocking circular elements, while the Thermal Bath, Montecatini (1989), has ogee-shaped structural elements like trees supporting the roof, a motif he also employed at the Mosque and Islamic Centre, Rome (1976). Other works include the Civic Square, Poggioreale, Sicily (1986–91), the vigorous Casa Baldi, Rome (1959), and the elliptical staircase, Palazzo Corrodi, Rome, which acknowledges Baroque precedents. Recognizing the inhibiting effects of International Modernism, he has been identified with Organic and Post-Modern architecture, and has asserted that architecture which means anything can only be created with reference to historical precedents. No mean scholar, he has published many works on Renaissance, Baroque, and C19 periods: his books include studies of Borromini, Guarini, Michelangelo, eclecticism, and Post-Modernism.

Bibliography

Kalman (1994);
Meyhöfer (1995);
Norberg-Schulz (1982);
M. Pisani (ed.) (1992);
Portoghesi (1956, 1960, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1982, 1983, 1990, 2000);
Portoghesi et al. (1999, 2000);
Priori (1985);
Jane Turner (1996);

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