Student Project Paolo Portoghesi's First Completed Building, Lucca Casa Baldi, Rome, 1959 Casa Baldi, Rome, 1959

About this talk

Running time: 29 minutes

Paolo Portoghesi, born and educated in Rome, has practised architecture in that city since 1958 - in partnership with Vittorio Gigliotti since 1964. He has been Professor of Architecture at Rome University and Professor of Architectural History and Dean of Faculty at Milan Polytechnic; has organised many exhibitions, written countless books and articles; has been Director/Editor of "Controspazio" from 1969 until its recent cessation; and has won many awards. He is currently President of the Venice Biennale where he attracted world attention with the 1981 "Strada Novissima".

Portoghesi, originally inspired by Borromini, seeks to produce in his architecture a marriage between Baroque and Modern, between past and present. The Modern movement, he says in his talk, should not have abolished the past, the collective memory. He looks for popular images to express this memory. A city is a phenomenon like a living organism; it cannot be created by simply throwing buildings together. Reconstruction requires careful study of the old city, not to copy it but to find what gives it its identity, and then introduce new buildings that have an organic relationship to it so as to preserve that essential identity.

In his designs he adopts the principle that a house is like a small city, and a city must be like a large house. The continuity of tradition is always stressed.

Professor Portoghesi adds a short statement in Italian at the end of his talk.

Please note that a transcript of this talk is available - please contact us for further details.

Paolo Portoghesi

You might also be interested in...