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Italy Travel Guide

The Twentieth Century

Contemporary architects considered necessary to invent an architecture that improve the style, materials and technologies of earlier architecture with the spirit of a new age. So new futurists stand out among architects and engineers, some remarkable names are: Giuseppi Terragni with the “Casa del Fascio” in Como, and Pier Luigi Nervi with the Gio POnti’s Pirelli skyscraper project in Milan.

By the first half of the 20th century many modern architects created designs with domestic environment producing furniture, textiles, and wallpaper too. Basically due to the availability of materials as iron, concrete, steel and glass; an international style arose, the glass was used for the facade, steel for exterior support and concrete for the floors and interior supports.

Modern architecture considers that modernist designers should design everything that was necessary for society, challenging traditional ideas, except for the important civic buildings or aristocratic palaces and churches. Before World War I, Antonio Sant’ Elia produced prophetic designs for skyscrapers. Some examples of the Italian architecture in the twentieth century could include the New Central Railway Station in Rome, the Torre Velasca, the Pirelli Building, and the Underground and La Rinascente Department Stores all in Milan, among other blocks of flats in Rome.

Originated in United States, modern architecture rapidly spread across the rest of the world, due to the inclusion of stylistic movements, technology and mainly because of the use of modern materials. The most prominent Italian architects from the 20th century are part of the Archizoom Association who created the “Superarchitecture” concept, Pietro Belluschi with the Pan Am Building in New York, Ernesto Basile with the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Adalberto Libera with the Villa Malaparte in Capri and Giovanni Michelucci with the Santa Maria Novella Station in Florence and Marcelo Piacentini, author of urban transformations in many Italian cities.

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