Continuità: a response to identity crises

This study, completed by Luca Molinari within his PhD at TU Delft University of Technology, is the result of more than 15 years of research in Italy, Europe and the United States. The thesis stems out of the unique occasion, in 1992, to reorganize a significant part of BBPR archive, particularly the Ernesto Nathan Rogers’ archive. Besides the many references to the historical sources Molinari includes a number of dialogues and interviews to Rogers’ friends and colleagues, such as Vittorio Gregotti, Gillo Dorfles, Guido Canella, Alberico Belgiojoso, Giancarlo De Carlo, Luciano Semerani and Giulia Banfi.

Continuità: a response to identity crises. Ernesto Nathan Rogers and Italian architectural culture after 1945 tells about the exemplary story of Rogers to understand the “continuity” approach of the twenty-first century architectural culture. As BBPR partner and chief representative of Italian delegation to CIAM, Rogers had already extensively worked on the continuity concept since the 30’s and again after the Second World War. His theories on the magazines he edited (Domus and Casabella) and his projects have been a key contribution to the international and national debate to bring reality and project design closer, to combine contemporary languages and traditions with sustainable architecture.

The continuity concept is related to crisis, and between the opposites any trasformation is seen as a political and cultural act of mediation with social and physical context. To be modern architecture is called to consciously and critically read the many identities of a place. From this point of view, continuity becomes a powerful and peaceful “antidote” against all excesses.