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Gio Ponti. La casa all’italiana / The Italian House



Gio Ponti. La casa all’italiana / The Italian House

Lecture by Fulvio Irace
Preceded by the screening of the documentary Loving Gio Ponti by Francesca Molteni (Italy, 2015, 35’)

On the occasion of the London Festival of Architecture
In collaboration with MUSE

In the first issue of the magazine Domus, which he founded in 1928 and edited until 1941 (and then again from 1948 to 1979), Gio Ponti wrote an editorial entitled La casa all’italiana [The Italian house].

The features of the Italian house, he argues, are distinct from the concepts of dwellings imported from Northern Europe. In particular, he points out the lack of distinction in Italian architecture between the interior and the exterior, both in forms and materials.
Also, the Italian house is not a “machine à habiter”, a machine for living in, as Le Corbusier stated in Vers une architecture [Towards an Architecture] in 1923. The Italian comfort “does not just consist in the correspondence of things to necessities and needs of our life or in the organisation of services”. The architecture of the house is rather meant to shape our thoughts, suggest simple and healthy habits, invite to peaceful and serene recreation thanks to its opening towards nature.

This talk will deal with the question of the “Casa all’italiana”, also in the light of the key role played by Ponti and Domus in the interwar years, appropriating of some of the European contemporary trends on domesticity, but also reclaiming the specificity of the Italian tradition and thus forging for it a specific identity.

The documentary Loving Gio Ponti is a picture of the man and the architect, aspiring painter, promoter ante litteram of Italian design who, in more than fifty years of activity, has tried it all – arts, occupations, objects, architecture and material – with untiring energy, from small to big, from the design of a handle to the formulation of a town plan.
The film is based on historical material and iconographic sources, such as the Ponti Archives and Teche Rai, as well as on an interview with Gio Ponti in his studio in via Dezza. It also features his architectural designs and customized furniture, ranging from Villa Planchart to Palazzo Montecatini, right through to the Pirelli skyscraper, and short interviews with, among others, Benedikt Taschen, Enzo Mari, Vittorio Gregotti, Alessandro Mendini, Nanda Vigo, Fulvio Irace, Giovanna Mazzocchi.


Fulvio Irace is an architect and architecture historian. He is Full Professor of History of Architecture at the Politecnico in Milan and has been visiting lecturer and professor in several Universities abroad (such as Princeton University and the Architecture Academy in Mendrisio). He has been editor of the magazines Domus (1980-86) and Abitare (1987-2007) and collaborated with A+U, The Architectural Review, Casabella, Lotus, Ottagono and Op.Cit. His main research interests include Italian architecture between the two World Wars and after WWII. He has extensively written about architects such as Giovanni Muzio, Gio Ponti, Carlo Mollino, Franco Albini, Luigi Caccia Dominioni and Vico Magistretti.



Data: Mar 19 Giu 2018

Orario: Dalle 19:00 alle 20:30

Organizzato da : ICI London

Ingresso : Libero


ICI London