In the passages of an academic environment i didn’t grasp the meaning of some teachings, ineffable and unreachable, so mystical, pervaded by a beauty without limits; and all this beauty attracted us as in a dream, and upon awakening the practice ruined everything.
Sometimes I keep wondering how it is possible that so much ugliness can pass unnoticed and if one day we will be able to restore an aesthetic quality that has seen such decay in architecture. We have all this technology and yet we are attracted to history. Cathedrals were built in the Middle Ages and we are here to find desperately a color instead of another to economize. We are exalted for some irrelevant detail while we observe contemporary architecture.
At this point I say that architecture is dead, God save the architecture. The tangible sign appears living in the context that currently appears increasingly full of constraints. Especially in historic buildings, everything is bound, nothing can be changed from the original conception even when it was of better workmanship, because architecture is dead!
It is assumed that the modern can be only create distortions; and how can i blame it? it is enough to look around. You,the ‘900 have ruined the landscape, devastated the aesthetics and now pretend to put a word on the past, on the ancient art? Architecture is dead; invitations with aperitifs are not enough to arouse the wonder of the onlookers towards the contemporary. Your words are empty because the facts speak us.
You architects take care of the new but don’t touch the old one, because you don’t know design, you don’t know the aesthetics, you destroy the art and you can’t work on certain works. That’s why the architecture is dead. There would be much more to say but for now let’s leave this topic to other moments and take care of the architectural design sign.
The look we turn to the past is a necessary step to understand what we are going to do. When we want to build something, make a square, a villa or a garden, the information and instructions that we absorb from those who preceded us in these works remain and will remain invaluable for an optimal result. Analyzes of the previous works are often carried out down to the smallest detail in the questions that interest us, in this way we have the maximum advantages from the masters who have always inspired us.
The desire to learn deeply the aspects of the ancient architecture must be found above all in the success of many of these works, as they effectively implement the intentions that gave them birth, creating those attractive poles that have become real symbols, points of reference for a city, which makes them its own by inserting them into many aspects of social life, demonstrating the excellent results achieved by the architects who have been able to transfer the desires of men into the masonry works. Those same architects that inspired other architects, as we do today, despite the difference of the historical periods.
So it seems that the passage of time has not affected the desire to live well, and in Rome this desire is even more evident in the historical pre-existences that have always been the subject of studies and analysis. This is why we find inspiration today from the places that surround us and we feel almost obliged to do so for a sense of natural closeness to the past and to our origins.
All the many examples in Rome such as Navona’s Square, Spagna’s Square, the Pantheon, etc. undergo the assault of visitors demonstrating in the most concrete results the success of the design intentions; And in this moment the architect disappears and the man appears having the work reached its achievement.
In the same way, modern architects will try to transfer their design guidelines into reality, making sure that these are accepted as well as the works mentioned above. However, today many situations unfortunately do not find often consensus in those who use them.
Despite the ideal desire to follow the ancient architecture, the contrasts that make these works repulsive break the relationship between man and buildings. The ideas presented (if there are any) seem to be incomprehensible to the peopole and the consequence is the unacceptable reality that is in front of us: the way of modern architecture is unable to create that link with history which is also so studied.
In spite of having the modern architect the same intentions that motivated the ancients and despite not having neglected anything in the search of the past, the way of modern architecture betrays the results of the primary desires of architecture. In the tragicomic outcome, therefore, an error escapes us and despite the refinement of the projects that are proposed, the superficiality of the solutions shines us, and although they are sought, they are not looked for.
The final aspect of this art, once again, leaves no way out of theoretical discussions and the places created by moderns without any mediation, are born and die in the mind of those who create them without ever being able to find that link with men and past. Nine are these places capable of recreating those sensations that we would like, we are not interested in them, as they seem to reject us.
In the simplicity of the ancient stadium of Domitian (Navona’s Square) we find those ingredients that increase the values of this urban landscape, and the references that modern architecture collects in the elements that compose it dictate the principles of construction that apparently were not enough to achieve the quality sought, as proof of a fundamental misunderstanding in the study of a square that will help us find the errors of a modern approach to architecture starting from its simple perimeter.
Around this form, which has remained intact over time, a series of buildings and architectural elements have followed the perimeter, which stand out particularly for their artistic value; it was therefore not born from the idea of an architect; the composition as a whole, its shape is not the idea of a mind that at table has decided that it was like us today looking at it; it is simply the outline of a stadium that the Romans used for their entertainment. Certainly the buildings surrounding this sign are often the result of famous architects, but as we intend to design in modern architecture today, the sign of this space has had no creator.
Its beauty framed in this simple rectangular shape seems to banter the abstruse plots of modernity; the idea of this place that does not come from the sign of an architect can only be in the square itself!
And therefore if this form is not expressed in the mind it is the very place that expresses it.
The discussion about it does not give us a definitive answer to the never resolved distance of a modern architecture that would like to establish a similar understanding between man and the built, but can indicate for the moment that an unpretentious sign can instead be better than contemporary research that in their great complexity don’t reach those fundamental requirements of living.
This opens up a substantial contrast that sees two different signs in the approach, finding confirmation in the final effect. The planimetric weaves that appear on the sheet exalt us, except in reality to reveal themselves in all their misery, gloomy and ruined by the time that increases their degradation.
This is the result, simple, direct, without too many theorizations. You architects of the 20th century created this and you can understand the fear that people have of affecting the works of the past. You do not understand the importance of the mediation of a work, a fundamental presence in all those elements that make it integrate perfectly into the context, not only physically but above all socially, so that over time it becomes itself part of the life of the community that uses it. So emerge again the already expressed concepts of symmetry, height, geometric relationships and shape.