Today, nearly a century after the National Fascist Party came to power in Italy, questions about the built legacy of the regime provoke polemics among architects and scholars. Mussolini’s government constructed thousands of new buildings across the Italian Peninsula and islands and in colonial territories. From hospitals, post offices and stadia to housing, summer camps, Fascist Party Headquarters, ceremonial spaces, roads, railways and bridges, the physical traces of the regime have a presence in nearly every Italian town.
The Routledge Companion to Italian Fascist Architecture investigates what has become of the architectural and urban projects of Italian fascism, how sites have been transformed or adapted and what constitutes the meaning of these buildings and cities today. The essays include a rich array of new arguments by both senior and early career scholars from Italy and beyond. They examine the reception of fascist architecture through studies of destruction and adaptation, debates over reuse, artistic interventions and even routine daily practices, which may slowly alter collective understandings of such places. Paolo Portoghesi sheds light on the subject from his internal perspective, while Harald Bodenschatz situates Italy among period totalitarian authorities and their symbols across Europe. Section editors frame, synthesize and moderate essays that explore fascism’s afterlife; how the physical legacy of the regime has been altered and preserved and what it means now. This critical history of interpretations of fascist-era architecture and urban projects broadens our understanding of the relationships among politics, identity, memory and place.
This companion will be of interest to students and scholars in a range of fields, including Italian history, architectural history, cultural studies, visual sociology, political science and art history.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Afterlives of Fascism Kay Bea Jones and Stephanie Pilat 2. The Fascist Legacy in the Built Environment Francesco Cianfarani 3. Urbanism, Architecture and Dictatorship: Memory in Transition Harald Bodenschatz 4. Regarding the Legacy of Fascism: Interview with Paolo Portoghesi Luca Arcangeli 5. Section Introduction: Global Capital: Fascism, Democracy, and Power in the Eternal City Stephanie Pilat 6. Palazzo della Civiltá Italiana: From Fascism to Fashion Paola Somma 7. F is for …Fluctuating Symbolism: The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana and its Shifting Meaning Jelena Loncar 8. Contesting Heritage: Shifting Political Interpretations of Rome’s Foro Italico Ankie Petersen 9. The Spaces between Intention and Reception: The Work of Kevin van Braak and Rossella Biscotti Stephanie Pilat 10. Section Introduction: Conditional Colonies Sean Anderson 11. Aeronautical Base Gianni Rossetti of the Italian Regime in Leros: A Study on the Palimpsest of Institutionalism Georgia Grkatsou and Amalia Kotsaki 12. Kallithea, Rhodes: A Summer Thermal Bath Resort at the Border of the Italian Fascist Empire and its Reuse Today Luca Orlandi and Velika IIvkovska 13. Failed State(s): Mogadishu and the Making of a Post-Colony Sean Anderson 14. Preserved for Whom: Re-Appraising Asmara's Colonial Era Architecture Matthew Scarlett 15. Section Introduction: Contested Territories Francesco Cianfarani 16. Beyond Italianization: Conflicts, Stories, and Reactions of the Afterlives of Fascism in Bolzano/Bozen Sara Favargiotti, Alessandro Busana, Daniele Cappelletti 17. Guidonia City of the Air: A Lost Identity Luca Arcangeli 18. Rural Settlers and Urban Designs: Paradoxical Civic Identity in the Agro Pontino Mia Fuller 19. The Legacy of the Official Borgate: Design, Reception and Current Life in the Quarticciolo Neighborbood Francesco Cianfarani 20. Section Introduction: Figures and Frameworks Mia Fuller 21. From Fascism to the Postwar Era: The ‘Two Lives’ of Cesare Valle, Architect and Urbanist Micaela Antonucci 22. The Silence of Modernity: Technology, Technique, and Reception of Giuseppe Vaccaro’s Works since the 1930s Sofia Nannini 23. The University of Trieste during the period of the Allied Military Government: from Fascism to Democracy Diana Barillari 24. The Afterlife of Typology and the Resilience of Fascist Architecture Mario Ferrari 25. The Lessons of Fascist Rome: Venturi, Lincoln Center and 1960s Formalism Denise Costanzo 26. Section Introduction: Fabricating Fascism: Building Typologies and Materials Stephanie Pilat 27. The Casa della Madre e del Bambino in Trieste: The Afterlife of Umberto Nordio’s Fascist Welfare Building Fabrizio Civalleri and Orsola Spada 28. The Reception of World War I Monuments: From the Ossuari to the Case del Mutilato Silvia Barisione 29. TransFORMing: The Re-Birth of Bolzano’s Former GIL Paolo Sanza 30. Transfiguration and Permanence: The Trento Post and Telegraph Building Fabio Campolongo and Cristiana Volpi 31. Efficient Linoleum D. Medina Lasansky 32. Section Introduction: Beyond Rome: Remnants of Place. Reception and polemics at the extremities of empire Kay Bea Jones 33. Villaggio ENI: Enrico Mattei & Architect Edoardo Gellner Build a New Italy Katie MacDonald and Kyle Schumann 34. 1938: Mussolini’s visit to Genoa and its Architectural Heritage Matteo Fochessati 35. Piazza della Vittoria in Brescia: The History and Difficult Legacy of Fascism Paolo Nicoloso 36. Adalberto Libera between Fascism and the Republic Paolo Castelli and Damiano Castelli 37. Section Introduction: Continuity or Crisis Brian McLaren 38. Ojetti's Prophecy: Italian identity from architectural debate to everyday life Alessandro Canevari 39. Problems of Abstraction: BBPR’s Monument to the Fallen in Concentration Camps, Milan (1946, 1950, 1955) Flavia Marcello 40. Monuments across the Fascist Divide: Questions about Formalism and Symbol Kay Bea Jones 41. Carlo Enrico Rava and the Postwar Legacy of Fascism Brian McLaren 42. Epilogue: Small Victories: BZ ’18 ‘45 Jeffrey Schnapp Index
Kay Bea Jones is Professor of Architecture at the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University. She is an affiliated adjunct professor in Italian studies, Department of French and Italian. She initiated the KSA/OSU Study Abroad Program in Italy in 1985.
Jones studies topics in modern Italian architecture, design and urbanism. Following her publication of Suspending Modernity: The Architecture of Franco Albini (2014), her essays, lectures and exhibition on Albini, Franca Helg and Caterina Marcenaro from furniture to museums and urban design have been included in Italian and international venues. As 2018–19 US Fulbright Scholar to Italy, Jones taught at the University of Trento while working on research investigating the architecture of Adriano Olivetti and his Ivrea community. Her work on the Olivetti’s impact on modern Italy began with her Bogliasco fellowship and residency in 2015.
In her design practice, Jones works on the architecture and assessment of housing and urban agriculture innovations, especially as American market alternatives. Her co-housing initiative for low-income single-parent families resulted in The Buckeye Village Community Center (2006), which received recognition from the EDRA Design Award and both state and local AIA honor awards.
Stephanie Pilat is a designer and architectural historian whose teaching and research examines points of intersection between politics and architecture. Pilat is the author of Reconstructing Italy: The Ina-Casa Neighborhoods of the Postwar Era, which tells the story of an Italian postwar housing program that activated the design and construction process for social aims. The book was awarded the 2015 Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize for the best work on Italian history by the Society for Italian Historical Studies. Her research has been supported by the Wolfsonian, the Fulbright, the American Association of University Women and the American Academy in Rome. In 2015, Pilat was named as one of the "30 most admired educators" in the nation by DesignIntelligence magazine. Pilat is an associate professor and director of the Division of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma.
"This excellent volume is the fundamental reference for readers interested in the histories, legacies, and afterlives of fascist architecture and urbanism. The genuine diversity and distinction of the perspectives represented ensures that this will be a touchstone for some time to come." - Dana Renga, The Ohio State University
"Bringing together disparate voices and perspectives, this volume draws valuable attention to the ways in which scholars, artists, architects, communities and others have engaged the material remains of the fascist past, not only within Italy, but also in that country’s former colonies and territories. Among the book’s many strengths, is its willingness to confront the challenges raised by difficult histories, in Italy and elsewhere, and to acknowledge and give voice to a multiplicity of responses." - Lucy Maulsby, Associate Professor, Northeastern University, Boston
"When it comes to the history of XX Century Italian architecture the community of international scholars and architects has a few recurring targets of [political] investigation: the twenty years ruled by the fascist Party; the mythologized "socialist" epic of Aldo Rossi & friends, the "anarchitectural" legacy of the Florentine Radicals; most recently a stream of young designers/thinkers speculating on the nostalgia for those predecessors. This book comes as an attempt, both virtuous and solid, to clear some of the confusion coming with the excess of academic and cultural glam recently raised by the discussion on the fascist legacy in Italy, especially when seen through today’s political eye." - Pippo Ciorra, Full Professor of Design and Theory, University of Camerino, Senior Curator MAXXI Architettura
"The book is a welcome English-language addition to the literature on the design of the built environment during the fascist period in Italy." - David Rifkind, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts, excerpt from Architectural Record