Aldo Rossi. Insulae

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Catalogue of the exhibition 'Aldo Rossi. Insulae'

ed. by Nadejda Bartels

in German and English

248 pages, hardcover, published in 2023

ISBN: 978-3-944899-18-3

The Italian architect Aldo Rossi (1931–1997), a recipient of the renowned Pritzker Prize, is one of the best-known modern architects. The exhibition at the Museum of Architectural Drawing, organised in collaboration with the Fondazione Aldo Rossi in Milan, presents over 110 works on paper by Rossi, some of which are being shown publicly for the first time.
An introduction to Rossi’s drawings is provided by the series Corpus Mediolanensis, consisting of coloured and reworked single-print graphic works, which afford an overview of 30 years of the architect’s design work.
Of special significance in Rossi’s work is Insula, a series of drawings inspired by models from antiquity and their reinterpretation in the works of Baroque artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) and Claude Lorrain (1600–1682). In complete contrast to the zeitgeist of the 1970s, which animated architects and artists with the hope of creating a better architecture or even a better society by breaking with the past, Rossi found his models in the buildings of earlier centuries.
The title of the exhibition refers not only to this series, but also to the traditional construction method of Roman buildings (insulae), an important concept for Rossi’s architecture as, for example, in projects such as Schützenstraße in Berlin. The German capital as well as his native Italy played a major role in the architect’s career. Rossi designed unique projects for Berlin, some of which were realised while others, such as the German Historical Museum, remained on paper.