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Maurizio Oddo

Maurizio Oddo

Maurizio Oddo
By Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi -

Maurizio Oddo is a hard person to pin down. He has written about works by Le Corbusier, the town of Gibellina, projects by Pranco Purini and Laura Thermes, the Padre Pio church at San Giovanni Rotondo by Renzo Piano, and a score of other subjects, some intensely technical. He has endeavoured to practise as a professional architect whilst teaching the history of architecture. University teaching brought him into head-on conflict with the academic hierarchy, culminating in his filing a public denunciation against the then Dean of the Architecture Faculty at Palermo. Such clashes led to him finding himself without an academic position last year when (almost too old to take part, being born in 1966) he won a research grant at the Enna faculty.
Among his many activities is the compiling of a guide to modern architecture in Sicily, a monumental work of 1000 pages and more. Some have accused this, understandably, of being a kind of telephone directory listing the mediocre and the less than mediocre, but it does have the undeniable merit of being the first detailed census of contemporary building on the island.
The house Maurizio Oddo has recently designed at Erice for the Ditta family (in collaboration with engineer Alessandro Barracco) is fully representative of this multi-faceted personality, in my view.
He sets out to tackle five challenges: first, can one revive the architecture of rationalism, a tradition that has borne exceptional fruit in Italy (one thinks of Terragni)? On such a course is it feasible to go back to the lesson of the leaders of the Modern Movement, first and foremost the undisputed master of rationalism, Le Corbusier?
Second question: can one pick one’ s way through Le Corbusier and others towards a Mediterranean architecture fitting the climate and environment with greater empathy than Anglo-Saxon high-tech or the spatio-linguistic acrobatics of contemporary avant-garde? In short, does the South have a road of its own...

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