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Coppedè district

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Dettagli dell'evento
Liberty, Art Deco, Gothic and Medieval styles

Coppedè district

La Ville Rome

The Coppedè district , named by its designer Gino Coppedè, built in the early twentieth century. Yet it is extremely distant from the rationalist architecture of "fascist art" (an explanatory example of the Italian rationalism of that period is the Palazzo delle Poste in Rome), immediately establishing itself in the urban planning of twentieth century Rome as a work with a strong unitary character .

There is nothing more anachronistic, even at the very moment of its birth, than the wavy and tormented lines and the strong impact of the architectural decoration imprinted on the buildings. The artistic vocation of this "decorator architect" would suggest an expression of the Italian Liberty style , but there are numerous obscure points in the stylistic reinterpretation of the district.

The need for a new housing complex between the Parioli and the emerging neighborhoods in the Trieste-Salario area around 1915 the choice fell on the Florentine Gino Coppedè who was already famous for his works in Genoa. The architect has to deal with a capital that was not at all similar to the European ones in which Liberty flourished, but with an antiquated city, the Rome of the Popes. Public buildings were looking for the "massif" and had a certain aptitude for scenography, which became more acute in the Fascist period; in many cases the attempt to impress the citizen with a grandiloquent consistency of the volumes surpassed the formal balance of the structure. Undoubtedly Gino Coppedè was helped to untie himself from the predominant taste of the time thanks to the purpose of the houses for which he was hired: it was private construction for the middle class. In fact, Rome was in full expansion and just to put a stop to a wild urbanization a few years earlier the master plan of Rome of 1909 had been issued, under which Gino Coppedè also works.

The entrance to the fairytale Coppedè district

These two fundamental premises seem to pave the way for Liberty in Rome, but they are not sufficient, however, to give a "floral" connotation to the city of Rome, much less to make life easy for Gino Coppedè: in the capital with its millenary layers of various eras every new insertion in the urban fabric had to submit to the tacit rule of homogeneity and integration, which is impossible or extremely difficult if we consider that Liberty was born exactly as a break from any link with the past. Apart from the rare "transplanted" attempts by foreign architects, this style never had the official patronage either before or after the Regime, which best expressed its essence through the rationalism of fascist architecture.

The skill and experience of architects such as Coppedè have therefore given voice to a European artistic trend balanced with the past and the roots of the Italic tradition, making it an autonomous style . Gino Coppedè is the only Italian architect of the twentieth century to have linked his name to a neighborhood and not only for the evident unity of the complex: his personal imprint is fundamental to make this work "original" in its stylistic sense and more intimately artistic.

Address: Piazza Mincio Roma

Photo source: Di Andrea Bertozzi, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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