Ignazio Gardella


With the passing away of Ignazio Gardella dies the generation of Italian architects whose careers were launched in the cradle of the Mussolini regime. Born in Milan in 1905, Gardella studied architecture in his hometown’s polytechnical university and in Venice’s architecture institute, where he would one day teach. His early projects, formed with a rationalist vocabulary, soon gave way to a personal interpretation of modernity that was not above incorporating elements of local building traditions. The city of Alexandria, where the best of his work is concentrated, is the physical scene of this change. Here he built a tuberculosis center in the thirties and an apartment block for employees of the firm Borsalino (1951-1953), where he abandoned the severity of the rationalist prism by creating a folded screen of brick planes crowned by a prominent eave. It was precisely this ability to create an architecture in harmony with context that allowed him to carry out the Zattere residential building on the banks of the Giudecca canal in Venice, a priviledge denied to Wright and only barely granted to Scarpa.

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