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Aldo Rossi (1931-1997)

Preliminary design for Il Teatro del Mondo, Venice

Designer: Rossi, Aldo (1931-1997)
Copyright: Aldo Rossi/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (c1978)

After graduating from the Milan Politecnico in 1959, Rossi joined the Milanese magazine, Casabella Continuita, serving as its editor from 1961-4.


The publication of his theoretical treatise on the architecture of the city in 1966 established Rossi as an international architectural writer and theorist. His written work tended to focus on the composite elements of the urban environment - monuments, buildings and typology - areas which he suggested were ignored or misunderstood by his architectural peers.


His work expanded in the 1970s and 1980s and his influence grew. Some of his theories he was able to put into practise. Working with Carlo Aymonino, Rossi designed the Gallaratese Quarter in Milan in 1974. His work at the Palazzo Hotel in Fukuoka, Japan in 1986 was acclaimed. Other work was imaginative, and ahead of its time, such as the floating Teatro del Mondo Pavilion, designed for the Venice Biennale in 1979, which seated 250 people and was towed out to sea. Rossi also designed products for Alessi and Pirelli.


Rossi was nominated just once for the Royal Gold Medal.