2 Pages


WithJoseph Rykwert

In this chapter the author recollects the memories of his early life. Looking through pre-war architectural journals in the late 1940s, author found that in spite of the 20 years of fascist domination, many fine buildings had gone up in Italy, more stylish and much more numerous than had been done in Britain at the same time. While author's contemporaries were flirting with neo-Scandinavian sociological pragmatism, their kind of architecture seemed to have nothing to offer them. There were other factors that made Italy inviting and thrilling, even though defeated. The Vespa and the even more elegant Lambretta offered a new economic form of urban transport. Italian films were hogging public attention, and their fashion houses – to rival the French – were sprouting on that barren, seemingly fallow soil. Innocent of any other complexities, author resolved to embark on his chronicle of twentieth-century Italian architecture.