Terragni, Giuseppe

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Terragni, Giuseppe (1904–43). Italian architect. He was primarily associated with Rationalism, Gruppo 7, and Movimento Italiano per l'architettura Razionale (MIAR), inspired partly by Futurism, and was active in CIAM. His first important building (one of the earliest manifestations of International Modernism in Italy) was the Novocomum Apartment Block, Como (1927–8), but his Casa del Fascio, Como (1932–6) is regarded as his finest work. With its open grid-like elevation leading to a glass-roofed atrium surrounded by four storeys of galleries and offices, it demonstrates that the Fascist Party could patronize Modern Movement buildings. He designed the Sant'Elia Nursery School (1936–7) and the Giuliani-Frigerio Apartment Block (1939–40), both in Como. He was also responsible for the Villa Bianco, Seveso (1936–7), and the Casa del Fascio, Lissone (with Antonio Carminati—1938–9). A convinced Fascist (a fact often ignored by commentators who find it inconvenient when admiring the impeccable Modernist credentials of some of his buildings), his unrealized design for the Dante Memorial, Museum, and Study Centre, Rome (1938), sums up the essence of architectural expression as favoured by the Party, with its stripped, severe monumentality and dramatic impact. For most of his architecture in and around Como he worked with his brother, the unsung Attilio (1896–1958). His œuvre influenced Rational architecture in the 1960s (especially the work of Rossi), and also had a powerful effect on the New York Five, notably Eisenman.

Bibliography

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