In the fall of 1989, we went to Italy to interview the architect Giovanni Michelucci, a man who had devoted his life to architecture and who had made important contributions to building in the twentieth century. We had found his work extremely powerful and many of his writings provocative and relevant to the issues we were beginning to explore for Perspecta 27.
We met with Michelucci at his home and studio in Fiesole. We spoke with his friends, his clients, and the young architects who worked with him. We studied his drawings and visited his buildings. And now, after three years of researching his work, translating and transcribing those conversations, and examining our memories of that experience, we realize that we have gathered only fragments of his immense legacy. Michelucci saw architecture not as a collection of individual acts, but rather as a continuous process of research and debate on the relationship of man to his environment. He believed that only a commitment to this process can justify the architect’s work in society, and until the last days of his long and productive life he held fast to his belief in the potential of architecture to change the world for the better.
This book represents our editorial effort to engage, at different levels, the ideas that Michelucci expressed in both building and writing.
A little over a year after meeting with us, and on the eve of his one-hundredth birthday, he passed away. We would have liked to have shown him this book. We dedicate Perspecta 27 to Giovanni Michelucci.
Giovanni Michelucci—"Order and Disorder"
Karsten Harries—"Context, Confrontation, Folly"
Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Louise Pelletier—"Architectural Representation Beyond Perspectivism"
John Whiteman—"That Skepticism Might Be a Place"
Nils C. Finne—"The Worker’s Club of 1924 by Alvar Aalto: The Importance of Beginnings"
Dietrich Neumann—"Three Early Projects by Mies van der Rohe"
Francesco Dal Co—"A Life One Century Long"
The Editors—A Conversation with Giovanni Michelucci
Andreas Brandt and Rudolph Böttcher—"The Train Stations of Kassel"
Juan Navarro-Baldeweg—"The Convention and Exhibition Center of Salamanca"
Glenn Murcutt—"The Mining Museum of Broken Hill"
Eladio Dieste—"Some Reflections on Architecture and Construction"