Transatlantic Affinities

Architecture, Table ronde, Roma/online

Entrance: via Liguria 20
I Pomeriggi series

Architecture, Table ronde

Entrance: via Liguria 20
I Pomeriggi series

The event will take place in Italian from H18:00 at Istituto Svizzero and online.
Attend in Rome, registration here.

Follow on Zoom, registration here

I pomeriggi series 
I pomeriggi at Istituto Svizzero is a series dedicated to our Fellows. It is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the projects they are working on during this year’s residency.

The event is curated by Giorgio Azzariti (Roma Calling 2022/2023).

Transatlantic Affinities
Architectural networks, collaborations, and myths between Postwar Rome and the United States

After the Second World War, also thanks to vast financial aid provided by the US Marshall Plan, Italy emerged from the cultural solipsism in which it had been enclosed until recently, and suddenly found itself in a new international context characterised by socio-economic openness, renewal, and expansion. The city of Rome, deputed for twenty years as the main centre of Fascist power, entered into a close transatlantic dialogue: attracted by its cinema industry, caught up in its mass culture, as well as conditioned by its politics, the ‘discovery of America’ became a shared experience and penetrated the city’s everyday life, thanks to media, cultural institutions, and research opportunities. Italian culture, in turn, found itself appreciated, sought after, and promoted overseas.

The purpose of this event is to investigate the explicit cultural interlocutions and implicit influences between Rome and the United States – in the years from the post-war period to the economic boom of the 1960s – within the field of architecture. The various researchers, curators, and professionals involved in this symposium are invited to engage in a dialogue, and each will be asked to explore these entanglements through a specific case study: fragments of experiences that – tied together – will render the complexities, scopes, and agencies of these transnational interlocutions. Each intervention has been given a specific perspective, so as to order the multiplicity of viewpoints according to specific patterns: the city, the architect and the real-estate society, the engineer and the construction company, the militant and the political parties, and the institution.

The aim is to explore the intertwining of politics, cultural institutions, history, real-estate, architecture, and engineering, that contributed to a new perception of the city of Rome after the Second World War – radically different from the previous one, both influential and contemporary – and, in turn, to the discovery, promotion, and reception of Italian architecture and engineering in the United States.


H18:00-18:05 ― Institutional greetings
Maria Böhmer (Istituto Svizzero)

H18:05-18:20 ― Introduction
Azzariti (ETH Zurich), Legacy and Reinterpretation

H18:20-18:35 ― The City
Costanzo (Panteon Magazine, Warehouse of Architecture and Research), Rome, Open City

H18:35-18:50 ― The Architect and the Real Estate Society
Tinacci (MAXXI Foundation), Luigi Moretti, the Società Generale Immobiliare, and the Watergate Complex

H18:50-19:05 ― The Engineer and the Construction Company
Iori (University of Rome Tor Vergata), Pier Luigi Nervi and his Third Life Abroad

H19:05-19:20 ― The Militant and the Political Parties
Ciorra (MAXXI Foundation), Being Bruno Zevi. The Militant Critic and the Political Agent

H19:20-19:35 ― The Institution
Sessa (University of Naples Federico II), American Fellowships in Postwar Rome. The City of Ada Louise Huxtable and Robert Venturi

H19:35-20:00 ― Discussion
Moderated by Giorgio Azzariti

H20:00 ― Aperitif


Giorgio Azzariti is an architect, Ph.D. candidate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), and 2022/2023 Fellow at Istituto Svizzero in Rome. Between 2014 and 2022, he has worked for international architecture firms and institutions such as Herzog & de Meuron in Basel and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His writings appear in international journals such as OASE and Vesper, and in 2019 he authored a monograph on the work of Swiss architect Peter Märkli, released by the French publishing house Caryatide. His work has been exhibited in a variety of venues, including recently at the MAXXI in Rome. Find out more about Giorgio Azzariti’s project, read his latest contribution on the blog of Istituto Svizzero on the website of the Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps.

Pippo Ciorra is an architect, critic, and professor at SAAD (University of Camerino) and director of the PhD program ‘Villard d’Honnecourt’ at IUAV. Author of books and essays, he was part of the curatorial team for the 1991 Architecture Venice Biennale and juror for the 2016 edition. He has curated exhibitions in Italy and abroad.  Since 2009, he is Senior Curator of MAXXI Architettura in Romeand co-director of ‘Premio Italiano d’Architettura’. His main research fields are late XX Century Italian architecture, museums and exhibitions, urban and architectural theory and its social and political implications.

Jacopo Costanzo is a Ph.D. graduate at La Sapienza, professor at IED in Rome and Domus Academy in Milan. He is the editor in chief of Panteon magazine and advisor at the American Academy in Rome. He studied in Italy and Portugal and conducted research in China, Japan and United States. A founding member of war [warehouse of architecture and research], he has curated exhibitions between Rome, London and New York, such as Re-Constructivist Architecture; When In Rome: A Collective Reflection Upon The Eternal City (Royal Institute of British Architects); Aldo Rossi and the City (Pratt Institute). 

Tullia Iori is an engineering historian, full professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, where she is coordinator of the PhD in Civil Engineering. She has been involved for many years in the research SIXXI – History of Structural Engineering in Italy, funded by an ERC Advanced Grant in 2012. She has published books and essays on the history of reinforced concrete in Italy, on Pier Luigi Nervi and Sergio Musmeci (now an exhibition at the MAXXI museum in Rome), on Riccardo Morandi, on the Autostrada del Sole, on the pop-structures of the new millennium and, more generally, on the history of engineering in Italy with a series of 5 volumes entitled SIXXI. She is editor of the magazine L’industria italiana del cemento and has a passion for dissemination: for this reason, she collaborates with programs such as Wikiradio and La Grande Storia, with Rai5 and RaiCultura and in the production of documentaries (BBC, Discovery Science).

Rosa Sessa is an architect and post-doc researcher in the History of Architecture at the University of Naples Federico II. She has been Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania (2015-2016), TUM Technical University in Munich (2018-2019), Institute of Fine Arts of New York University (2021, supported by the EU-US Fulbright Schuman Program), and Italian Fellow at the American Academy in Rome (2022). Her first book Robert Venturi e l’Italia was published by Quodlibet in 2020.

Elena Tinacci architectural historian, Ph. D., is Coordinator of the Department of Architecture at MAXXI Museum in Rome, where she also carries out research and curatorial work. She previously collaborated in Paris with the Fondation Le Corbusier and Docomomo International. Her projects at MAXXI include the exhibitions L’Italia di Le Corbusier (2012), Carlo Scarpa e il Giappone (2016), Gio Ponti. Loving Architecture (2019) and Buone Nuove. Women in Architecture (2021). Author of numerous essays and publications, in 2018 she published with Edizioni di Comunità Mia memore et devota gratitudine. Carlo Scarpa and Olivetti 1955-1978.