Neorealist Architecture: Aesthetics of Dwelling in Postwar Italy

David Escudero

After World War II, a wave of Italian films emerged that depicted the life and hardships of characters left helpless after the conflict, bringing to the screen the struggles of a time of existential angst and uncertainty. This form of filmmaking was associated with a broader artistic phenomenon known as ‘neorealism’ and is now considered a pivotal point in the history of Italian cinema. But neorealism was not limited to film any more than it was to literature. It spread to other areas of artistic production, including architecture. What was, then, neorealist architecture?

This book explores the links between architecture, filmmaking and the built environment in dopoguerra Italy (194X–195X) seeking to ascertain whether, and how, neorealism manifested itself in architecture. Terms such as ‘neorealist architecture’ or ‘architectural neorealism’ were hinted at in these years and recalled by historians of architecture in the following decades. Therefore, the concept was adopted ad hoc and popularized post hoc, in the absence of any declarations prior to 1955 that proclaimed what neorealism in architecture was or wanted to be. However, while the concept has been internalized by Italian architectural history, transfers between neorealism—as an aesthetic and ethic—and architecture—as one potential medium of its embodiment or expression—are still not fully understood. Therefore, its main goal is to provide an in-depth discussion of the concept ‘neorealist architecture’, the working assumption being that the connection between both terms is not meaningless.

The book has been supported by the Graham Foundation grant for individuals 2022

Ficha técnica

Año: 2022
Páginas: 236 páginas
Dimensiones: 17,5 x 25 cm
Idioma: Inglés
ISBN: 9781032235042