|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Architecture and Town Planning|
|Supervisor:||Prof. Emeritus Goldschmidt Gabriela|
This study deals with the development of Italian architecture under the Fascist regime during the period between World Wars I and II. Many projects which are considered landmarks in the development of the modem movement, were carried out during this time by architects who were identified with the regime's ideology. The research examines the relationship between Italian architecture and political ideology, using special evaluative approach.
The research treats Italian architecture under the Fascist rule as a link in a chain of historical events that reflect the influence of Europe's ideological atmosphere on modem architecture from the end of the 19th century. A survey of the relationships between futurism and fascism during the first period of activity of the regime (1922-1925) helps to characterize the conceptual/social background of fascism and its relationships with Italian intellectuals.
The research presents the conceptual movements and trends of Italian architecture which were not identified with the fascist ideology during this period. Their main conceptual activity focuses on the question of the definition of the meaning of modernism in Italy with respect to the country's rich architectural heritage. Many architects view taking advantage of this heritage as the appropriate way for modern Italian architecture.
The research describes the situation during the years 1925-1929 (the second stage of the regime's development) and analyzes internal conflicts of the fascistic ideological doctrine that influenced the way Mussolini related to architecture. This stage was also characterized by the birth of the formal architecture of fascism, based on general declarations of the regime as to the importance of preserving the national heritage. These declarations contributed to the identification of the architects with fascism.
Modern architecture appeared in Italy towards the end of the 1920s with the commencement of the activity of the Rationalist movement. The movement, which declared its new approach of preserving the national heritage through international modernism, receives the support of Margarita Sarfatti, a professional art critic who was very close to Mussolini. The research emphasizes the exclusive participation of the rationalists in the planning of the regime's main propaganda event, "The Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution" in 1932. This event influenced the aesthetics of fascism, and contributed to the implementation of ideology
by the regime.
The situation during the 1930's is viewed through the activity of the architect Marcello Piacentini, who replaced Margarita Sarfatti in the position of national advisor on the arts. After several well thought-out tactics, Piacentini eliminates rationalism as an organized movement and commands his authority over all of the country's main projects, thereby completing the conversion of Italian architecture into serviceable tools of the regime.
The research makes use of a comparative analysis between the works of Piacentini and the renowned rationalist architect Terragni, in order to exemplify the two typical approaches of Italian architecture and the role played by the fascist ideology in professional activity. Conclusions of the analysis emphasize the main channels of the influence of ideology on Italian architecture during the Fascist period.