Thursday, May 30, 2013

Como and the works of Guiseppe Terragni

Terragni's first work - an apartment building by the lake
Facade detail of Terragni's last work- just down the road from the first

Floor detail

Casa del Fascio with Duomo of Como in background

Main facade of Casa del Fascio

Asilo Sant'Elia - interior of main room
Today we were taken on a tour of Como, focusing on the works of Rationalist architect Guiseppe Terragni. We began with both his first and last works, two apartment blocks near the shores of Lake Como. Both were inventive especially in means of circulation and material detailing. Terragni had a keen understanding of the beauty and strengths of each material, and articulated each in elegant ways. We next moved on the the Casa del Fascio, his most famous work. Unfortunately, we weren't able to access the interior spaces, but the exterior revealed enough about the rigor and skill with which Terragni articulated geometry and form. The punched windows frame views around the city, and the building has an interesting and direct juxtaposition to the Duomo. The contrast is really spectacular. The final work was Asilo Sant'Elia, a kindergarten school on the outer edge of Como. The spaces were fantastically designed, and the architect created an intimate connection with the exterior spaces. Subltle offsets in the structural grid give the glass walls a feeling of airiness, giving an experience immediately connected to the pleasant schoolyard. Altogether, it's a shame Terragni died so young. He was truly a talented craftsman; of space, material, and form.

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