At the origins of postmodernism: Paolo Portoghesi's studies on baroque architecture

Micheli, Silvia (2012). At the origins of postmodernism: Paolo Portoghesi's studies on baroque architecture. In: Fabulation: Myth, Nature, Heritage: The 29th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Launceston, TAS, Australia, (740-755). 5-8 July 2012.

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Author Micheli, Silvia
Title of paper At the origins of postmodernism: Paolo Portoghesi's studies on baroque architecture
Conference name Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Conference location Launceston, TAS, Australia
Conference dates 5-8 July 2012
Proceedings title Fabulation: Myth, Nature, Heritage: The 29th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Place of Publication Launceston, TAS, Australia
Publisher SAHANZ
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
Start page 740
End page 755
Total pages 16
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Paolo Portoghesi begins writing his articles on baroque architecture when he is still a student in Rome. In 1956 he publishes his first book on Guarino Guarini and his attention is already focused on Francesco Borromini's work. Meanwhile, other intellectuals are also concentrating their attention on Baroque, such as Sigfried Giedion, Rudolf Wittkower and Giulio Carlo Argan. Their contributions appear to Portoghesi as confirmations of his own intuition that the modern architecture could be read through the investigation of baroque architecture, a study that would produce useful instruments for developing contemporary ‘architectural composition’. The intentions which animate Portoghesi's approach to the Baroque as a fertile ground for his activities, both as historian and as architect, are revealed in his book ‘Borromini nella cultura europea’ (1964). There he writes that ‘before being an occasion of historical and philological analysis, the knowledge of Borromini's work is an instrument of autocriticism for the modern culture [...] Borromini's controversy puts in crisis the basis of the linguistic conventions restored by the Renaissance, sweeping away, in its most intense moments, its hesitations and inhibitions’. Driven by the anticlassicist passion inherited from Bruno Zevi, Portoghesi's attention is caught by Borromini's skills in breaking the theoretical and design rules fixed by renaissance architecture. From Casa Baldi (1959-61), through the Islamic Cultural Center (1974-95), both in Rome, to Via Novissima at Biennale di Venezia (1980), the lesson of Baroque has had meaningful reverberations on Portoghesi's architecture, particularly concerning themes of the ‘curve’, the ‘angle’ and the ‘façade'. This paper seeks to rebuild the intellectual entourage in which Portoghesi led his studies on baroque architecture, to describe the influence of Borromini's work on his own architecture and to investigate the effects of these studies on the birth of postmodern architectural culture, to which Portoghesi made a considerable contribution.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Wed, 08 Aug 2012, 14:40:31 EST by Silvia Micheli on behalf of School of Architecture