In On Bramante, architect Pier Paolo Tamburelli considers the work of the celebrated Italian Renaissance architect Donato Bramante and through this reappraisal suggests a possible agenda for current architectural practice. Bramante, Tamburelli argues, offers an excellent starting point to imagine a contemporary theory of space, to reflect on the relationship between architecture and politics, and to look back—with neither nostalgia nor contempt—at the tradition of Western classicism. Starting from a discussion of the difference in the work of Bramante in Milan (1481–1499) and Rome (1499–1514), Tamburelli highlights the peculiarities of Bramante’s architecture, especially in comparison to that of his predecessor Leon Battista Alberti and successor Andrea Palladio. This in turn opens up new possibilities for appreciating his spatial experiments, and to derive from Bramante’s abstraction and disassociation of form from function a revised theory of space for contemporary architecture. Such a theory might even advance a newfound political understanding of classicism, and a model—perhaps more valid now than ever before—for a public architecture.
Taken at the height of the Assad days, the images of the photographer Giovanna Silva overlap in this publication with Syrian tourist guides’ images and texts, creating a net of intended and unintended relationships and time interconnections. As Pier Paolo Tamburelli writes in his essay, “Silva’s photo speak of time that is twice lost. […] When I look at them, I can smell that apparently eternal condition of no-change in Syria before 2011. I recognize the omnipresent, idiotic smile of Bashar – at the time still considered the gentle son of Hafez al-Assad (the ophthalmologist who lived in London and did not really wanted to leave to become a dictator and who finally had to substitute the nasty brother probably killed by Mossad). Now that the civil war has erased everything that belonged to that Syria, now that everything changed, I have the impression that that world is way more lost than many other episodes of the past. Both for Syrians and for foreigners the memories of the civil war will occupy all the space that could have been dedicated to these last twenty years of Syrian history. […] Not only are those moments gone, but they will not be remembered. The boredom of that period entirely disappeared in the cruel excitement of the war. The pictures are a strange homage to a lost world”.
The House of Memory is a house, a collective house in which Milanese citizens hope to find protection for the memories they want to preserve. Nobody inhabits this house, and in this case the word house is understood as an envelope, a protected space, or a shelter that crystallizes memory within the flow of the metropolis. So the house becomes an object to be both protected and exhibited, a treasury to be surrounded with an envelope that both defends and exposes its content.
Stefano Graziani’s photographs depict the construction of the building, while the texts by Howard Burns, Jean-Louis Cohen and Kersten Geers try to interpret its significance in the context of contemporary architecture. The book includes a complete set of drawings of the building.
a+mbookstore is a publishing house and a bookstore specializing in visual contemporary arts, founded in 1993 in Milan.
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