The fascination of works of architecture off the radar of the major architecture magazines, exploring areas in search of hidden treasures, of constructions long forgotten, are themes that have always interested Livegreenblog. Last week we went to the Triennial for the launch of the book “Forgotten architecture. An archive of completed and lost projects” (“Forgotten architecture. An archive of built projects that have disappeared”) curated by architect Bianca Felicoric and published by Nero Editions†
The editorial project is the legacy of Forgotten Architecture, a virtual group experience that originated on Facebook in May 2019. As we can read on the group page: “The idea is simple: bring back projects by little-known and unknown architects, works that remain in the shadows of the great masters, look at ‘little figures’, and combine different backgrounds in architectural history to complete students’ university studies. It is a collective experience that goes beyond the purely architectural, a virtual world populated by more than 27,000 members from different professional backgrounds”.
The group enables the discovery of rare treasures of 20th-century architecture through images posted from around the world. Many of the buildings are abandoned and some have even been destroyed, but they live on in the archives of the architects who designed them or in old magazines. The valuable heritage thus collected has now been collected in a published volume.
In the transformation from an online forum to a book, Forgotten Architecture retains its character as a dynamic, horizontal collective experience born on the social networks. As editor Bianca Felicori explains, “In keeping with the group’s principles, the editorial choice of content for the central portion of the book is based on the architectural categories most frequently published in the group: ephemeral architecture, gas stations, discotheques and resorts, homes and playgrounds. Many of the lyrics were written and edited by active members of the Facebook group, who freely interpreted the architecture theme. Each chapter is accompanied by a selection of the projects published on the group page, each with the name of the person who shared it on the Facebook group.”
A great deal of work has gone into the preparation of the book, with years of research and collection of photographic material, documents and drawings from professional studios, private archives and institutions, making “Forgotten Architecture” a reference book in his field. Divided into several chapters, we find works that have finally been immortalized, even from the Internet. Treasures include the house designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. for Arnaldo Pomodoro, photographed only recently by the book’s editor, Bianca Felicori, with Fabrizio Vatieri and Nicola Nunziata. The book also features the first project of Ignazio Gardella, a great master of 20th century Italian architecture, that is, the church of the former antituberculosis sanatorium in Alessandria, immortalized by architectural photographer Gianluca Giordano during FAI Heritage Days in the spring of 2019.
The book is distributed by the Roman publisher Nero Editions through the “for or never” system, which means that the book will only be available for a very short period (until June 7), making it a collector’s item and adding another layer of storytelling to the book. the fate of the forgotten buildings whose story is told on the pages.
“Forgotten architecture. An archive of completed and lost projects” curated by Bianca Felicori
Edited by Nero Editions
Size: 22 x 30 cm
Images: Courtesy of Nero Editions, Gianluca Giordano
1) Phillip Daniel, Arthur Mann, S. Kenneth Johnson, and Irvan Mendenhall (DMJM) with Anthony J. Lumsden, Roybal Comprehensive Health Center, Los Angeles (California), 1979. Image Credit: Phil Donohue
2) Aldo Favini, Aquila gas station, Sesto San Giovanni, Italy, 1949. Image Credit: Archivio Favini
3) Ken Isaacs, Beach Matrix, Westport, Connecticut, USA, 1967. Image Credit: Kenneth Dale Isaacs Papers. Courtesy of Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research
4) Vittorio Giorgini, Saldarini House, Piombino (LI), 1961-1962. Image Credit: Vittorio Giorgini Archive
5) Ettore Sottsass Jr., Home for Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, 1966-1968. Image credit: Nicola Nunziata and Fabrizio Vatieri
6) Carlo Celli, Luciano Celli, Dario Tognon, ATER Rozzol Melara residential complex, Trieste, 1968-82. Image Credit: Federico Torra
7) Released, MAY NINE2017† Directed by: Francesco Lettieri. Architecture: Aldo Loris Rossi, Piazza Grande residential complex, Naples, 1979-89. Image Credit: Video Screenshot MAY NINE2017
8) Church of the Sanatorium, Alessandria, Ignazio Gardella, Image Credit: Gianluca Giordano
9) Church of the Sanatorium, Alessandria, Ignazio Gardella, Image Credit: Gianluca Giordano