Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi

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By Studio Marcus Hay
Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi


When you look at Aldo Rossi’s work, His product design through to his architecture, you see a passion for heritage but a nod to the future that is distinctly his own. Born in Milan (1931-1997), he is considered by many to be the greatest Italian architect of the second half of the 20th century. His notoriety comes from the fact that it was he who accomplished the unusual feat of achieving international recognition in four distinct areas: theory, drawing, architecture and product design.     

His espresso maker La Cupola, designed for Alessi came out in 1988 and is what drew us to really notice his work, Having needed a espresso maker on our travels, we discovered this classic coffee pot and was inspired by it’s dome like lid and whimsical nature at Chicago’s Eataly. It was from there we felt the need to explore further work and what we unearthed was a body of work, which is breathtaking. In particular his sketches for his projects are artworks in themselves and really capture a spirit and dynamism that is mirrored in the final product. 

 The amazing thing about his work is that even though he seemed to be pigeon holed a post modernist, he truly was his own entity. He once said, "I cannot be Postmodern, as I have never been Modern," His body of work is enormous but buildings worth mentioning that are worth checking out are San Cataldo Cemetery, Monte Amiata Housing, Teatro Carlo Felice, Teatro La Fenice, Bonnefantenmuseum and The Gallaratese Housing, Milan. To go in depth about these would require a much more involved post, if interested read more about them here. 

 When Rossi was awarded the Pritzer Prize in 1990, the jury said: "Rossi has been able to follow the lessons of classical architecture without copying them; his buildings carry echoes from the past in their use of forms that have a universal, haunting quality." 

 "His work is at once bold and ordinary, original without being novel, refreshingly simple in appearance but extremely complex in content and meaning," they added. "In a period of diverse styles and influences, Aldo Rossi has eschewed the fashionable and popular to create an architecture singularly his own." 

 He sadly died in an automobile accident in 1997 at the age of 66.


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 1 of 9 - Left: Portrait Of Aldo Rossi, Right: Alessi La Conica Coffee pot, 1980-83

Left: Portrait Of Aldo Rossi, Right: Alessi La Conica Coffee pot, 1980-83


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 2 of 9 - Left: Il Cinco Kettle, Right: Sketches of the La Conica Coffee pot for Alessi

Left: Il Cinco Kettle, Right: Sketches of the La Conica Coffee pot for Alessi


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 3 of 9 - Left: Painting bt Aldo Rossi, Right La Conica Coffee pot for Alessi

Left: Painting bt Aldo Rossi, Right La Conica Coffee pot for Alessi


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 4 of 9 - Left and Right: Sketches for Aldo Rossi's projects

Left and Right: Sketches for Aldo Rossi's projects


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 5 of 9 - Painting/ Illustration to represent The Monument to the Resistance for Cuneo, 1962

Painting/ Illustration to represent The Monument to the Resistance for Cuneo, 1962


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 6 of 9 - The unfinished San Cataldo Cemetery, Italy, 1971  

The unfinished San Cataldo Cemetery, Italy, 1971  


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 7 of 9 - Left: Covered walkway at The San Cataldo Cemetery, Italy, 1971, Right: Aldo Rossi’s painting in inspiration for the cemetery

Left: Covered walkway at The San Cataldo Cemetery, Italy, 1971, Right: Aldo Rossi’s painting in inspiration for the cemetery


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 8 of 9 - More of Aldo Rossi's amazing sketches for his projects  

More of Aldo Rossi's amazing sketches for his projects  


Inspiring Icons/ Aldo Rossi - Photo 9 of 9 - Left: Sketch, Right Aldo Rossi in his office, 1980’s

Left: Sketch, Right Aldo Rossi in his office, 1980’s