Through a detailed study of the principal spaces of Italian cities, this book explores the relationship between political systems and their methods of representation in architecture. Illustrated by contemporary photographs and analytical drawings, it examines significant piazzas and situates these examples in their social and political contexts, highlighting the urban evidence of shifts between autocratic and democratic forms of government through history. The ideological role of political architecture is analyzed through the work of various theorists including ancient sources, Renaissance thinkers and modern critics. The complex evolution of individual spaces over time is represented by their physical layering from ancient times to the present day. Other examples connect the development of different characteristic types of Italian urban form in chronological sequence, categorized by art historical and political periods.
About the Author
Eamonn Canniffe is a lecturer at the Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
Table of ContentsContents: Introduction; Part I The Roots of Italian Urban Form: Rome: the centre of the city as axis mundi; Christianity: the development of new urban forms; The Middle Ages: from the city of God to the city of man. Part II The Early Modern City: Early Renaissance: perspective, representation and the ideal; High Renaissance: the modern city all'antica; Mannerism: the theatre of the city; Baroque: scale form and meaning. Part III The City and National Consciousness: Neo-classicism: style and political ideology; Risorgimento: the formation of a national urban space; Fascism: the urban language of authoritarianism. Part IV Urban Expression In An Age of Uncertainty: Neo-realism: urban form and la dolce vita; Neo-rationalism: Aldo Rossi and the rediscovery of typology; Labyrinths: the city of 'the years of lead'; The piazza and the politics of the present; Bibliography; Index.