Architecture for the community

At the end of the war, the Milan to Rome connection would still take thirty-three hours by train. Women would vote for the first time, and a veteran from the front, Fausto Coppi, would become the symbol of the country’s reconstruction. On the city streets would run an intriguing new vehicle, the Vespa, that immediately became a metaphor of freedom, soon followed by the Lambretta. In 1953, Hollywood immortalized them: the movie Vacanze Romane shows the Italians discovering the collective rituals of modernity, in a still popular context. In a country discovering the value of spare time, a new focus is put on public spaces.

In the fifteen years from 1945 to 1960, Italy changed skin, tempted by the dream of progress but not yet completely liberated from nostalgia for tradition. Even the province sought emancipation, looking at large cities like Turin, Milan, Naples and Rome, equipped not only with the most advanced social models, but also with new urban architectures such as churches, theaters, cinemas, squares and gardens. These became the country’s places of social life, where the communities live, meet, find and recognize each other.

At the beginning of the new decade, a film set in Rome again marked a new era: the Sixties, opening with La dolce vita, would close with a crisis that, starting from the universities, transformed the whole Italian culture. Leisure spaces for young people were built: universities, sports venues and arenas for mass entertainment.

Since the eighties, bourgeois art has entered a crisis, the consumer society was finally consolidated and its symbol became the so-called “Milano da bere”. In this scenario, the Vespa finally returns, this time driven by a disenchanted Nanni Moretti, who in the capital’s lonely streets captures the different beauty of public spaces of Rome’s suburbs.


Front building of Termini Station, Rome

Parish church in La Martella village, Matera

Arena Flegrea in Mostra d’Oltremare, Naples

Pirelli Skyscraper (Regional Council), Milan

Palace of the Regional Council, Trento

Town hall, Fiumicino

Cinema-theater Duni, Matera

Royal Theater, Turin

Piccolo Theater, Milan

Sports Center, Trento

Fosse Ardeatine Mausoleum, Rome

San Cataldo cemetery, Modena

New system of Piazzas, Gibellina

Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome

Garden of Encounters, Sollicciano

Sports Palace, Rome

Mount of Olive Trees, Riesi

School Campus, Pesaro

University of Calabria, Rende

University College in Colle dei Cappuccini, Urbino

Co-Cathedral, Taranto

Church of Santa Maria dell'Assunta, Riola

Church of the Immaculate Sacred Heart of Mary, Bologna

Stairway of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria, Cagliari

University of Naples, Department of Engineering, Naples

Don Milani kindergarten and nursery school, Zerbo di Opera

Auditorium in the Park, L'Aquila

Church of Madonna della Neve


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