Biography[ edit ] Giuseppe Terragni was born to a prominent family in Meda , Lombardy. In he and his brother Attilio opened an office in Como. A pioneer of the modern movement in Italy , Terragni produced some of its most significant buildings. A founding member of the fascist Gruppo 7 and a leading Italian Rationalist, Terragni fought to move architecture away from neo-classical and neo-baroque revivalism. In he and other progressive members of Gruppo 7 issued the manifesto that made them the leaders in the fight against revivalism. In a career that lasted only 13 years, Terragni created a small but remarkable group of designs; most of them were built in Como, which was one of the centers of the Modern Movement in Italy.
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Casa del Fascio one of the most famous buildings of the Italian Rationalism stands in a city Como northern from Milan, which is based next to the Como lake. The building itself is built in the period between and , by one of the most challenging architects of the period Giuseppe Terragni, educated in the politechnico Milano architecture school.
Their goal was bringing the international Modernism movement to Italy and domesticating it by mixing the essentially foreign style with Italian aesthetical principles. This controversial historical era, brings many questions about young architects believing and working for a new totalistic regime. Giuseppe Terragni is exactly this type of architect.
Can we talk about the best building of Rationalism in Italy without mentioning the connection with the Fascism? How is the fact of propaganda materialized in the form of the building? Is the building a symbol of Fascism or a well designed representative office building?
How do historians feel about the architect and is really Terragni a genius modernistic architect or just a servant of a regime that could be replaced by anyone else? These questions appear analyzing Casa del Fascio and the answers are not simple and unequivocal.
Based on Ghirardo  the architectural situation in Italy after the WWI is defined by many different groups of architects. The three most evident are Accademici neo- classicism and 19th century based eclecticism architects based on the most of architecture schools, the moderates Novecento in Milan, and other in Rome and Rationalists.
These main groups in the new Fascist state are in a kind of struggle in the architectural field of competitions and in the effort for the regime support. Each architectural group had its justification of existence and arguments against the others. The party was a good client and there was a chance, how to prove it. The second step is Casa Del Fascio in Como. The work is commissioned to him by a conversation with the Party Secretary in Como in probably with an influence from his brother Attilo as a high party member in Como.
Terragni already thought about the Casa much earlier: his first drawings come from and till the final project is proposed 5 designs. Peter Eisenman  with his very detailed analysis of the first drawings describes each phase of the design separately and precisely. The first design image p. The third plan image p. The last, final one, is how the building is built. All historians find Italian architecture for Casa del Fascio as an inspiration, but it can be a connection, evidence and a program at once too.
Terragni was blamed many times in his career of plagiarism. The projects are similar in a quite visual comparision and they were presented in the Italian architecture magazines of the era.
Accusing someone of plagiarism in architecture, that is traditionally based on quotations and inspirations, is more a tactical game of the different groups of architects in the fascist regime, looking for the justification of other forms. One thing is that modernism is a non Italian style that was imported from foreign countries no good for nationalism and the needs of Italian fascism and only way of learning the basis of Modernism was though magazines.
There was an existing inspiration or at least knowledge of these buildings before the Casa in the final version was planned.
It is interesting how a very good marketing for the Casa was used. Justifying Rationalism, new regime, propagandistic enrichment of the building, low price, genious concept and so on. The vast covered space in the center is used for meeting rooms, halls and offices. A system that was unusual in those days and that could be quite expensive and possibly rejected for decreasing the budget. It is not planned to make greater transparency and openness of the scheme.
This quotation shows one of the main concepts of propaganda of the Casa. The regime is not celebrated not by sculptures, eagleas, symbols or typological parts as other Fascist buildings have, but by richness of materials, free plan, proportions and harmony. A very different concept, unique in the totalitarian state. Occasional counting of money saved by the plan is through the whole text.
The use of Italian craftsmanship and industry is mentioned too. It shows what he thought about the role of the Casa and regime in the society- the ideas are made by him as an architect, Fascist, citizen and Italian. And that is one reason why his Casa is so different to others. The question of geniality of the Casa must have more added facts. This is reflected in the budget. The final amount used to build the Casa is almost three times higher than planned.
The propagandistic elements of the Casa in Como is another big task. The Littoria tower, even if it was drawn in several plans and sketches is not included. These images in the tradition of the Sala O Fascist exhibition in are expressed by photomosaic of episodes from the Fascist history crowned with the portrait of Mussolini on the top Rejected for unsuitable material — photography made on baked enamel — lead to a change of design that should be composed in a marble mosaic Next version was a podium for speeches and a sculpture of a horse with an attendant infront of the blank wall in the piazza.
Again rejected In a final design, not made by Terragni but T. At the end, no design was made. The Casa is dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers that had a sanctuario in the foyer of the Casa. This is fulfilling the metaphor of a Temple. This part was taken off after the war and in fact is the most propagandistic element in the house. Propagandistic mural from Radice in the federal hall was included.
The portrait of Mussolini twice as big as real etched into the marble slab, making the Duce always content to every meeting today without Mussolinis portrait. Terragni even designed the chairs one named Benita. From the simple office the highest in hierarchy with the access to the balconies for the speech. The Casa is missing a typical speakers balcony copied from palazzo Venezia in Rome were Mussolini held his speeches from his office.
This prototype is in all other casa del Fascio in the country. By George P. This idea is more an interpretation. Why would the architect design the windows in a simplified version of the fascio, when he had absolute freedom in designing the form of casa? Every connection of his building to the regime was useful. Terragni is designing all the facades differently, for the use of the rooms behind and mostly to bring the day illumination inside the offices image p.
The offices on that side should be equipped with a special artificial illumination system that makes the light brighter as the illumination of the sun decreases. For the budget reasons not made. The decoration has a concept of a political billboard.
As mentioned above, the Casa has many different interpretations, stories, analysis and written facts about it. The Casa del Fascio in Como, as a building promoting the regime and the new social structure, is paradoxically the less propagandistic casa del fascio of all built.
The Casa in the first idea was planned as a new building type of public- state space representing the headquartes giving the richness to the public. Terragni was trying to evolve the typology in a less propagandistic way.
Secondaly the propaganda decoration was added on the finished building. The Rationalists were Fascists Terragni too , but if they were not in the party, they could have hardly had the success in the architectural field of the nationalistic and Fascist era.
Modernism, without the connection to the regime, would probably not exist in Italy at least as strongly as it did. Used literature:.
CASA DEL FASCIO
История Править Строительство здания финансировал текстильный предприниматель Родольфо Бернокки, а его проектированием занимался итальянский архитектор Джузеппе Терраньи . Строительство здания было начато в году и завершилось в году. Первый, более традиционный, проект был реализован ещё в году. Первоначально здание являлось штаб квартирой националистической партии Италии , а с года и по настоящее время является штаб-квартирой провинциального отделения налоговой милиции.
Tweet on Twitter Osannato da intere generazioni di architetti, Giuseppe Terragni finisce sotto la lente di Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi, che ne mette in luce i limiti. Proprio alcuni giorni fa ho trovato alcuni appunti che avevo scritto da ragazzo. E inoltre continuo a essere convinto che arte e architettura non si possano separare. Non so se si tratti di un preconcetto, ma per comprendere un personaggio bisogna innanzitutto guardare alle sue scelte artistiche.
AD Classics: Casa del Fascio / Giuseppe Terragni
Cornerstone of modern architecture, represents the synthesis of cultural matrices seemingly irreconcilable: the traditional type of urban palace beside the explicit display of the building system grid reinforced concrete. The final design takes shape around a compact body on four floors, from the square, with a large central hall with double height, lit from above by a flat roof tile of glass blocks. A perimeter, are all areas of study and meeting, facing facades on isolate. The prism is covered with white marble; the four sides, with no contributions decorative, are treated independently of each other, with different openings and scores that leave ample room for the exhibition of the structural grid of columns and beams. The square outside is the outdoor space that permeates the building, it becomes a natural extension of the central courtyard through the stairway to the lobby, at least ideally seamless.