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The symbolic spaces of the city. The legacy of Aldo Rossi in Germany

This essay proposes a reflection on the legacy of Aldo Rossi, in the belief that his scientific contribution was not exhausted and concluded in his works and writings, but continues to be current and valid even just over ten years from his death. For this reason, it proposes a comparison, through a taxonomic reading3 of the symbolic spaces of the city, between Aldo Rossi and the German architect Uwe Schroeder, that, as will be argued within the text, belong to the same family of minds.

Key-words: City, Symbolic spaces, Aldo Rossi and Uwe Schroeder.

The symbolic spaces of the city. The legacy of Aldo Rossi in Germany


Manuela Antoniciello

University of Salerno, Italy


Felice De Silva

University of Salerno, Italy



In a time of great crisis of values and ideals which also invest our field of study, theories that make fluctuate the foundational and foundations concepts of architecture find their place, theories that take possession of mathematical models, in which prevails the immaterial dimension, the de-realization, the uncertain and liquid part, the fragmentary nature which often renounces its unity. In this context, the present essay proposes a reflection on Aldo Rossi thinking, a key figure in Italian rationalism who, as is known, inaugurated with the Triennale di Milano in 1973 the rational movement recognized as the Tendenza. A movement, a thought, a theory, which identifies in the aspiration to truth and clarity of shapes the possibility of fulfilling the civil role to which architecture is called to respond, proposing an idea of architecture that «is not an aesthetic or moral vision, a way of life, but the only systematic answer to the problems posed by reality» (Rossi, 1974). It seems therefore interesting to come back to thinking about the continuity of tradition, about the relationship with history understanding the great legacy of the past, and about construction understood as téchne, that is «an idea of the relationship that must be established between construction and architecture so that the construction does not end in a technical act, but it is an expressive resource for the representation of the characters of the buildings» (Moccia, 2016). These are the reasoning, concerning the analytical study of the city, the instrumental value of the typology, the «single project» (Rossi, 1973), which are still current and strongly rooted in Italian architectural culture and which can also be found in the German one. Confirming the idea of architecture as transmissible knowledge, some German architects have in fact taken the lesson of Aldo Rossi, initially explored in Oswald Mathias Ungers theories and projects and later carried out by others such as Uwe Schroeder. Through their works and writings, Aldo Rossi and Uwe Schroeder express a common feeling, a way of working in the city with a scientific approach that identifies in the classification of urban facts, the relationship between permanences and mutations, in the investigation of shapes and spaces of history, the reasons for a discipline understood as inseparable creation from civil life and from the society in which it manifests itself.

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Ultimo aggiornamento: 04/06/2018 05:41

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