Post-modern architectural projects in Manhattan and Venice inevitably have to address the impossibility and the compromises of the modern project in the two cities. By triggering processes that avoid a deﬁ nitive conﬁ guration, they ﬁ nd a way to coexist with the established orders of the city, and relate to it through a suspension of conﬂ ict. Apparent inadequacy becomes an enabling strategy of survival and belonging. Where the modern project was forced to relinquish its totalitarian ambitions and remain partial and open, the post-modern project constructs itself as both a continuation of the city and a critical discourse on the modern. Building on the discourse on the city attempted by the modern, the post-modern project ﬁ nds a new interest in the city, and works in it on a twofold context, addressing on one hand the historical structure and stratiﬁ cations of the physical city, and on the other the disciplinary discourse that redeﬁ nes architecture as a linguistic structure. No longer an available tabula to raze and reinvent from scratch, the city is re-engaged as a ground of confrontation and experimentation, that offers to architecture both a challenge and a reason for being. The architectural project engages in a dialogue with the city as a semantic and spatial text, and the notion of context is redeﬁ ned in active and relational terms.