1. Home
  2. Magazine 2022
  3. The Plan 143
  4. Mario Cucinella’s Reformist Architecture

Mario Cucinella’s Reformist Architecture

MCA - Mario Cucinella Architects

Mario Cucinella’s Reformist Architecture
By Valerio Paolo Mosco -

Continuity is a hallmark – indeed the cypher – of Italian architecture. But continuity should not be construed in any ideological sense, rather as a natural habit of taking the past and where we have come from into account, especially the fairly recent, easily recognizable, past. In fact, the word “continuity” must always be paired with its apparent opposite: eclecticism. Italian architecture has been eclectic since the days of Camillo Boito, its many facets making it appear undefinable.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Italian eclecticism conceals a series of clear-cut tendencies, theoretic nodes and figurative characteristics that are not the result of individual whim but rather denote that continuity I mentioned before. In other words, while Italian architecture appears an eclectic medley, its underlying continuity acts as an opposing force, restoring a sort of organic unity. This dual approach is clearly visible in contemporary Italian architecture.

Take Mario Cucinella. As a young architect, Cucinella had two “maestros” of no small importance: Giancarlo De Carlo and Renzo Piano. Although from different generations, De Carlo and Piano have many things in common. Both share what we could even call an ideological concept of architecture as the purveyor of reform that is neither conservative nor revolutionary. Both their work is rooted in reality – even if a reality needing amendments, i.e., improvements. It is a mindset deeply embedded in the Italian tradition: think Croce’s liberalism, the Partito d’Azione, the Radical Party and many other movements – also emanating from the Catholic church – that continue to advocate reforms that a largely conservative – or more precisely, faint-hearted – country has been putting off for years. Returning to De Carlo and Piano, what their work has in common is a general drive to enhance the life of a community, not with...

Proceed with your preferred purchase option to continue reading
Digital

Digital

5.49 €
Print

Print

15.00 €
Subscription

Subscription

From 35.00 €
Keep up with the latest trends in the architecture and design world

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054