By Aldo Rossi
This revealing memoir by means of Aldo Rossi (1937--1997), essentially the most obvious and debatable figures ever at the overseas structure scene, intermingles discussions of Rossi's architectural initiatives -- together with the most important literary and inventive affects on his paintings -- along with his own background. Drawn from notebooks Rossi stored starting in 1971, those ruminations and reflections diversity from his obsession with theater to his proposal of structure as ritual. The booklet initially seemed as one of many landmark titles within the MIT Press's Oppositions Books sequence, yet has been out of print for a few years. This newly issued paperback reprint comprises illustrations -- photos, evocative photos, and a suite of drawings of Rossi's significant architectural initiatives ready really for this booklet -- chosen by means of the writer himself to reinforce the text.
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While I was listening to some music by Benedetto Marcello on opening night and watching people flowing up the stairs and crowding onto the balconies, I perceived an effect which I had only vaguely anticipated. Since the theater stood on the water, one could see from its window the vaporetti and boats passing by just as if one were standing on another boat; and these other boats entered into the image of the theater, constituting a seene that truly was both fixed and mobile. In an essay on this building where he took up my comment about the influence of the architecture of the lighthouse along the Maine coast, Manfredo Tafuri said that the lighthouse or beacon.
Is one faithful to a piace, to what ultimately changes very slowly. Every midsummer evening has its companionship and its solitude, and the architect or the playwright must grasp the broad outlines of a sceiie quickly, because he knows that the eharacters and even their feelings may change, or that in any case the representation will be different in time. All this allows for the representation of the past with the desire of the present. What frightens me most is the past of a man in whom desire is dead: for somecme in this state, the past paradoxically glows with the colors of the future, with those of hope.
At this point I should apeak of my built works, which up to now have not been many. Still, they constitute perhaps the central point ofthi$ biography or autobiography, for I identify them with a part of myself. There is no photograph of Fagnano Olona that I love so much as the one of the childnm standing on the stair under the huge clock which is indicating both aparticulartimeaml alsothetimeofehildhood, the timeofgroupphotos, with all the joking that such photos usually entail. The building has become pure theater, but it is the theater of -life, even if every event is ah-eady anticipated.