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Paolo Portoghesi

Rome, Italy
1 of 1

Paolo Portoghesi (born 2 November 1931, Rome) is an Italian architect, theorist, historian and professor of architecture at the University La Sapienza in Rome. Portoghesi's activity took place in parallel on the sides of historical research and architectural design, aiming at the reintegration of collective memory in the tradition of modern architecture. The Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center in Rome (1984-95) and the Renaissance district in the Talenti Park in Rome (2001) are among his most famous architectural works.

Portoghesi studied architecture at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Rome, completing his studies in 1957. He taught History of criticism (1962-66) at the University of Rome, from 1967 to 1977 he was prof. of history of architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan, of which he was dean from 1968 to 1976. Since 1995 he teaches design at the faculty of architecture of the Rome University. Portoghesi opened an architectural practice with architect-engineer Vittorio Gigliotti (born 1921) in Rome in 1964. He was president of the architectural section of the Venice Biennale from 1979 to 1992, editor of the magazine Controspazio from 1969 to 1983. In 1972 he was a participant in Documenta 5 in with a model made of wood, plexiglass, cardboard and steel and 30 drawings for the planning for the utopian city DIKAIA: Dikaia, the city after the 3rd industrial revolution, developed together with Vittorio Gigliotti Kassel in the Department of Parallel Imagery: Utopia and Planning.

Postmodern Architecture

Portoghesis and Gigliottis Casa Baldi in Rome from 1959 is considered an early example of postmodern architecture. At the Venice Biennale in 1980, Portoghesi organized an exhibition on postmodern architecture entitled: The Present of the Past. This exhibition, which after the dismantling still in Paris and San Franciscowas shown, managed to present a synthesis of the various currents of post-modern architecture that existed at the time. With more than 2000 visitors every day, the exhibition was a success for the public. Although the specialist discussion was controversial, the exhibition triggered a plethora of publications on the subject. It is considered the birth of a comprehensive theoretical preparation of postmodern architecture.

He has specialized in teaching and researching Classical architecture, especially Baroque architecture, and in particular Borromini, but also Michelangelo. His interest in more contemporary architecture coincided largely with that of his colleague in Rome, Bruno Zevi, in championing a more organic form of modernism, evident in, for instance, the work of Victor Horta and Frank Lloyd Wright, and in Italy with neorealism and the Liberty style. This attitude has continued throughout Portoghesi's career, and is clearly visible in his own architecture. It is also evident in his concern for the studies of nature, brought to the fore in his more recent book Nature and Architecture (2000).


Appointed (2002) Knight of the Grand Cross of the Italian Republic. National member of the Lincei (2000), member of the Academy of Arts in Florence since 1977. Among the numerous awards received for the activity carried out is the IN / Arch prize for historical criticism; the gold medal of the Manzu Foundation (1971); the Royal Palace of Caserta award (1973); the Fregene prize (1981); an honorary degree from the University of Lausanne (1984); the Legion of Honor (1985); the Capitol prize for culture (2005).

Architectural Works

His remarkable activity as a historian and critic was joined by his activity in the field of design and his architectural works include: the Baldi house in Rome (1959), the Andreis house in Scandriglia (1963); Papanice house in Rome (1967); Industrial technical institute in L'Aquila (1968); church of the Holy Family in Salerno (1968); Social center with civic library in Avezzano (1969); Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center in Rome (1976-91); seat of the Academy of Fine Arts in L'Aquila (1978); ENEL residential complex in Tarquinia (1981); thermal pavilion in Montecatini (1987); Catanzaro theater (1988); thermal buildings in Nocera Umbra (1989); Leon Battista Alberti square in Rimini (1990); towers of Pietralata for the SDO of Rome (1996); church of S. Maria della Pace in Terni (1997); Renaissance district in the Talenti Park in Rome (2001); the Shanghai tower project (2006); the project for the renovation of Piazza San Silvestro in Rome (2011). Exhibitions on his architectural works took place at the Milan Triennale, the Venice Biennale (1977), the Vienna Bauzentrum, the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste in Hamburg, and also in Berlin, Karlsruhe, Bielefeld, Gottingen, Osaka, Kassel, Paris , New York, San Francisco, Milan and along via Giulia in Rome.

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Rome, Italy
bostjan, June 1st, 2021
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