In 1966, Aldo Rossi published a book that refuted the then current arguments on the city and its design, and whose reception exceeded all expectations: L’architettura della città was fast internationally hailed as a classic.
Built upon a combination of unconventional fragments from various disciplines, cultures and authors, the book engendered a conceptual framework – as opaque as it appeared – for effective exploration of the contemporary city. On the 50th anniversary of the original launch of L’architettura della città, the exhibition presents itself as a formal exercise both in celebrating this ‘mythical’ work and taking it off its pedestal, dusting it down so as to be able to re-engage with its tenets.
In returning to the sources on which Rossi drew in order to construct his book, in recovering the original editions so as to expound both their literary and iconographic value, ‘The Books of the Architecture of the City’ celebrates the generosity of the book, beyond the fame of its author, and therewith proposes that Aldo Rossi be regarded as only one among many contributors to an intimately multifaceted and collective project called L’architettura della città: a book made of books.
Here, all the books quoted in L’architettura della città are brought together and made accessible for the first time. In drawing on more than 150 books, on a multiplicity of origins and references, L’architettura della città is resolutely an organism that prompts the on-going mutation of its own content as well as ample opportunities for a continuous internal and external dialogue. By showing nothing but what was already there, ‘The Books of the Architecture of the City’ plainly exposes the contents of the original text, thus calling upon the visitor to explore Rossi’s fiction as well as to venture into building new sets of analogies and correspondences.
September 15 - October 22, 2016
Istituto Svizzero di Milano
via Vecchio Politecnico 3, 20121, Milano
In collaboration with Form - ENAC – EPFL - Fondazione Aldo Rossi.
Curators and editors
Victoria Easton, Kersten Geers and Guido Tesio
OFFICE Kersten Geers David van Severen
Christoph Van Damme