(Rome, 1881 – 1960)
Illuminated avenue EUR
mixed technique on cardboard
Marcello Piacentini has always been very meticulous in his work as architect: he proceeded scrupulously in every commission through representations of what would have been built. Today we could define this kind of production 3D rendering. For him, ‘ideas’ were more important than control over external or internal elements in their mathematical relationship. He moved away from the simple and fruitless debate on rationalist architecture, looking for practical solutions for everyday “needs of life”.With these concepts he approached the commission assigned to him for the Universal Exposition that was supposed to be held in Rome in 1942. During the governatorato of Giuseppe Bottai, in fact, between 1935 and 1936, it was decided to candidate the city for the future exhibition called E42. Unfortunately, this will never be accomplished due to the outbreak of the Second World War.
The project for the Illuminated avenue EUR realized with pencils and pastels must be traced back to the first ideas that appeared regarding the creation of a city exhibition space. This large sheet is one of the very rare examples of a long and difficult work that Piacentini, in several occasions, performed in team with many other architects from 1938 onwards; think of Luigi Moretti, Ernesto Lapadula, Luigi Vietti but also of the members of the commission for EUR such as Pagano, Piccinato, Rossi, Vietti and of course Piacentini himself. The EUR commission is very important at national level; according to Piacentini, it was precisely thanks to it that the Italian architecture developed an organic growth, reaching a unitary, coherent and stylistically defined physiognomy, internationally recognizable and, in many cases, raised to modern and driving force for the other arts. It was therefore a moment of magical balance in which the architects, Piacentini in primis, guided not only the taste of the time but also an internationally recognizable current.
Our drawing represents a long illuminated avenue with a dome construction in the background: it is a representation that translates into image the idea of the Viale Imperiale up to the Basilica of SS. Pietro and Paolo. A rare sheet that testifies not only Piacentini’s activity but an Italian artistic movement of international relevance.