Alberto Sartoris


The Modern creed had one of its most passionate converts and propagandists in the Swiss-Italian Alberto Sartoris, who died on 10 March. He was born in Turin, but his family emigrated to Geneva, where the young Sartoris trained in the School of Fine Arts as a draughtsman and there learnt to love architecture, although he would never qualify to practice professionally. The 1920 Exhibition of Modern Art which was celebrated in the city put him in contact with the Italian avant-garde. After his participation in the first CIAM in La Sarraz in 1928, he dedicated his energy to promoting rationalism, through texts like Elements of Functionalist Architecture (1932) and in 1943 Introduction to Modern Architecture, and drawings with the same manifesto-type character. In his few built works, the inevitable necessity of reality contaminated the purity of his drawings. For Tenerife, which he first visited in 1950 and where he always felt a certain bond, Sartoris designed various projects which were never to be realized, among those the Arnulfo Córdoba house in Tacoronte (1952) and a residence for artists and intellectuals in Puerto de la Cruz (1953). 

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