The reason for a project that was never performed: Alvar Aalto and the residential complex in Pavia (1966-68)

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Abstract

This paper aims to analyze the characteristics of the project for the residential complex "Patrizia" in Pavia by Alvar Aalto (1966-1968). Although not realized, for political and economic reasons, the project offers an interesting example of urban planning in an “organic key”. In particular, this paper aims to contextualize the project of Aalto in the broader context of the residential building in Italy after World War II, when the problems of reconstruction and "home" are the heart of the debate on architecture. The project, in fact, takes place in the years immediately following the experiments of the social housing plan INA CASA (1949-63), which - with differences in design and architectural solutions variable from region to region - had however draw a lot of elements from Scandinavian neo-empiricism, deriving from it: urban patterns, building types and solutions for internal distribution, sometimes running out in a vernacular language.Compared with the Italian examples, the residential complex of Pavia shows obvious qualitative differences due to the vision of "organic" architecture of Aalto and due also to his approach, free from the prejudices and from the "weight of history" that weighed on many Italian architects. Many were in fact the opponents of the plan of Pavia, who saw in the project of Aalto a threat to the historic center of the city. To analyze the project the paper will have two interpretations: a key to understanding of internal which describes the characteristics of the complex Patrizia through drawings and written reports, also in relation to other works of the Finnish master, and one external, which contextualizes the project in the particular historical moment of the Italian post-war reconstruction, trying to appreciate the contribution and the influence of Alvar Aalto on some Italian architecture, especially on some residential complex of the next period, such us those designed by Giancarlo De Carlo.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Pagine20-29
Numero di pagine10
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

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Alvar Aalto
Historic Center
Empiricism
Second World War
Italian Architecture
Economics
Experiment
Italy
Opponents
Threat
Vernacular Language
Urban Planning
History
Prejudice
Giancarlo De Carlo

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AB - This paper aims to analyze the characteristics of the project for the residential complex "Patrizia" in Pavia by Alvar Aalto (1966-1968). Although not realized, for political and economic reasons, the project offers an interesting example of urban planning in an “organic key”. In particular, this paper aims to contextualize the project of Aalto in the broader context of the residential building in Italy after World War II, when the problems of reconstruction and "home" are the heart of the debate on architecture. The project, in fact, takes place in the years immediately following the experiments of the social housing plan INA CASA (1949-63), which - with differences in design and architectural solutions variable from region to region - had however draw a lot of elements from Scandinavian neo-empiricism, deriving from it: urban patterns, building types and solutions for internal distribution, sometimes running out in a vernacular language.Compared with the Italian examples, the residential complex of Pavia shows obvious qualitative differences due to the vision of "organic" architecture of Aalto and due also to his approach, free from the prejudices and from the "weight of history" that weighed on many Italian architects. Many were in fact the opponents of the plan of Pavia, who saw in the project of Aalto a threat to the historic center of the city. To analyze the project the paper will have two interpretations: a key to understanding of internal which describes the characteristics of the complex Patrizia through drawings and written reports, also in relation to other works of the Finnish master, and one external, which contextualizes the project in the particular historical moment of the Italian post-war reconstruction, trying to appreciate the contribution and the influence of Alvar Aalto on some Italian architecture, especially on some residential complex of the next period, such us those designed by Giancarlo De Carlo.

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