Doing Something With Nothing in Rome

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Aerodynamic City with Archizoom Associati , 1969 by Andrea Branzi.

Aerodynamic City with Archizoom Associati , 1969 by Andrea Branzi.

The architecture scene in Italy operates around groups and individuals tied to various cities and regions. In the late 1960s Florence was the liveliest and most compelling venue for architecture with groups like Superstudio, Archizoom, UFO all coalescing around the city’s university. But Venice, with its IAUV academy and stellar faculty that included Manfredo Tafuri and Aldo Rossi, was also a center until a few year ago. Milan too with its dynamic post war economy and lively design tradition was and is still a place for creation of new architectural ideas. Rome on the on the other hand, though it was the home of Bruno Zevi and Paolo Portoghesi and their lively publication programs, was never a place one thought of as central to the debate on the future of architecture.

But things are now changing in the Italian capital with the opening of the MAXXI museum and its dynamic architecture department led by Pippo Chiorra and now a new architecture gallery is opening in Rome’s city center near Piazza Vittorio at via Carlo Alberto 63. The gallery named Interno 14 is the creation of Roman architecture critic and teacher Luigi Prestinenza who decided to devote the first year of exhibitions to ones on the quintessential Italian subject of “Utopia.” The new galleries first shows will feature 20th century Italian radical architecture: Vittorio Giorgini, Luigi Pellegrin, Mario Galvagni, Superstudio, etc.

Interno 14 is also helping curate an exhibition on the work of Italian architects under 40 with the Renzo Piano foundation. Prestinenza claims that the gallery will be “open to all the contribution and ideas and that while this is a moment of deep crisis in Italy we have two possibilities: doing nothing or doing something with nothing. We prefer doing something with nothing.”

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