On April 13, 1945, the last bombs of the Anglo American army fell on Milan. On the July 15th, the publisher house EDIT printed Gion Ponti’s “L’Architettura è un cristallo”: revised and expanded, the small book was publishes in 1957 by Vitaly &Ghianda as the best know “Amate l’Architettura” ( later in the American translation “In praise of architecture”). “L’architettura è un cristallo”, despite his format and content, can be considered as a “war book”, part of a series of small, budget publications written in “the furor of events themselves”. The heterogenous nature of these publications was due to the anxiety of communicating in the hard times of war and postwar scenario, in the midst of a realistic perception of the catastrophes and the need of a vital reaction. In the late 50’s , Amate l’Architettura became the manifesto of the transformation that had taken place , as witnessed by the tormented process of editing, which consisted primarily in the effort by Ponti of giving an account of his position in the decade of reconstruction :his theory of the “diamond” ( or Crystal) as the basic form of architecture was going to be the leading line of his future activity along the following decades, while serving at same time as an indication on how to develop the principles of a social architecture out of the shallows of the declined rationalist theory.
About Fulvio Irace
Fulvio Irace is professor emeritus at the Politecnico di Milano and former visiting professor at the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture and University of Navarra, Pamplona.
Senior editor for architecture for “Domus” (1980-86) and “Abitare” ( 1987- 2007), he has contributed regularly to magazines such as “A+U”; “Architectural Review”, ”Casabella”, ”Lotus”, ”Ottagono”, ”Op.Cit.”, ecc; for which he received in 2005 premio Inarch Bruno Zevi . From 1986 he is architectural commentator for the Sunday cultural supplement of the italian newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore”. His commitment to the history of architecture as a scholar dates back to the first contributions to the study of architecture in Italy between the wars to which he contributed with essays, books and exhibitions . Among his work , some books and essays are still one of the points of departure for all subsequent scholarship on this field. Among them particularly worth to be mentioned is his research on Gio Ponti.