Giuseppe Samonà was one of the most influent Italian architect and urbanist of the 20th century. He studied at Palermo University where he graduated on 1922. He became a teacher on 1927 at Messina University and between 1931-1936 at Federico II in Naples. One of his remarkable works was the "Palazzata" or "Teatro marittimo" ("curtain building wall" - "maritime theater"), a 1929 design proposal where 13 similar building, connected by monumental doors, focused on reestablishing the waterfront of Messina, Sicily. (Just two buildings were built). On 1936 Samonà was invited to teach at IAUV, University of Venice, where he works until 1971 and become the founder and father of the "School of Venice", based on classicism on architecture. On May 25th, 1972 till July 4th, 1976 become Republic Senator and with Giancarlo De Carlo, Umberto Di Cristina, and Anna Maria Sciarra Borzì, was in charge of urban plan the city center of Palermo (1979-1981)
The School of Venice
Giuseppe Samonà was able to renovate the philosophy of the school of Venice and leading young professionals and teachers such as Ignazio Gardella, Franco Albini, Luigi Piccinato, Ludovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso (BBPR), Giovanni Astengo, Giancarlo De Carlo, Luigi Muratori, Egle Renata Trincanato, and Bruno Zevi. This generation, even with opposite architecture philosophy, creates a mix of cultural setup in Italy able to generate new architectural representatives like Aldo Rossi, Francesco Tentori, Valeriano Pastor, Gianugo Polesello, Costantino Dardi, Luciano Semerani, and Manfredo Tafuri.
Giuseppe Samona’s philosophy
Inside the Italian debate on the inheritance of the tradition and the analysis of the historical city and on the subject of the continuity/discontinuity of the modern project - he is summarized in the theory of the urban voids, in the role of the public building and in the research on the language. According to Samonà, the public building is above all an occasion for the re-measurement of an aporia on the matter of the historical city: the historical city is defined in its form and in its image, so it’s a place where it’s impossible to build with the words of the modern architecture. An aporia that Samonà tried to solve in his writings, always questionings, and in the above-mentioned and other exemplary projects.
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