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Aldo Rossi


Biography

Aldo Rossi (1931-1997) graduated from Politecnico di Milano in his native city of Milan in 1959 and immediately began pursuing an intense theoretical and teaching career, working with historic magazines such as Casabella - Continuità (1955 to 1964), Società and Il Contemporaneo and serving as editor-in-chief of Marsilio’s Polis series. 

In his youth he added numerous trips abroad to his cultural background (Prague, Moscow, East Berlin). He began his long academic career in the seventies, first as assistant (at the school of urban planning in Arezzo with Ludovico Quaroni; at IUAV in Venice with Carlo Aymonino) and then as a professor at Politecnico di Milano (1965), and later taught at Zurich Polytechnic as well as holding lectures in Japan and the United States. 

He worked with Catalan architects in Spain in the sixties, particularly Salvatore Tarragò. In 1966 he published L’architettura della città (The architecture of the city), the first in a series of important essays on urban morphology and a key work for understanding Rossi’s philosophy of design. Preceded by personal research into all aspects of urban culture, all Rossi’s architectural projects combine collective memory with his own sensibility.

Examples include the iron bridge and landscaping of the park for the 13th Triennale in Milan (1964); redevelopment of the square before the town hall and the monument to the Resistance fighters in Segrate (1965); and San Cataldo cemetery (Modena, 1978), the product of a fruitful partnership with Gianni Braghieri that was to last until 1986.

With Teatro del Mondo in Venice (1979), considered one of “the most significant works of recent decades and the one that best expresses the thesis, with illuminist and rationalist roots, of the urban and civil function of architecture”, Rossi became a key figure in contemporary architecture. In the eighties his career took a decisive turn thanks to his creative inspiration and work outside of Italy (Japan, Canada, Germany), including works such as a housing development in Südliche Friedrichstadt for IBA of Berlin (1988); Toronto’s Lighthouse Theatre (1989); the museums in Maastricht (1994); and the Contemporary Art Centre in Vassivière (1991). In 1983 he became director of the Architecture Biennale in Venice: in 1990 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize, and in 1991 the Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture.

Aldo Rossi selected projects

- Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (the Netherlands), 1995
- Shopping centre, Nara (Japan), 1994
- Housing development, Bari (Italy), 1994  
- Palazzo del Cinema, Venice (Italy), 1994 
- Expansion of Linate international airport, Milan (Italy), 1993 
- Housing development, Città di Castello (Italy), 1993 
- Center of Art and Landscape, Vassivière (France), 1991
- Residential buildings, La Villette, Paris (France), 1991
- Monument to S. Pertini, Milano (Italy), 1990
- Lighthouse Theater, Toronto, (Canada), 1989 
- Hotel complex, Fukuoka (Japan), 1989 
- Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa (Italy), 1989
- Office and retail centre, Perugia (Italy), 1989 
- Housing complex, Berlin (Germany), 1988 
- School of Architecture buildings, Miami (USA), 1986
- Teatro del Mondo, Venice (Italy), 1979
- San Cataldo Cemetery, Modena (Italy), 1978
- Residential units at Gallaratese II, Milan (Italy), 1973 
- Redevelopment of the square before the town hall and monumental fountain, Segrate (Italy), 1965 

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