Aldo Rossi

Italian (Milan, Italy, 1931 - 1997, Milan, Italy)

Interested in both theory and practice, Aldo Rossi became known for his exploration of the essential elements and enduring typologies of architecture. It was this rational approach, coupled with his penchant for clearly communicated forms, which won him a reputation as the one of the founding fathers of Postmodernism.

While growing up in Italy during World War II, Rossi studied at the School of the Somaschi Fathers in Lake Como, and later at the Collegio Alessandro Votas in Lecco. Shortly after the war ended he entered the Milan Polytechnic, receiving his architecture degree in 1959.

He designed several buildings in Italy, including the Gallaterese Quarter (1973) in Milan, the Teatro del Mondo in Venice (1979), and Casa Aurora (1988), an office building in Turin. His U.S. commissions included the extension of Scholastic Publishing's headquarters in downtown Manhattan — a project completed posthumously after Rossi's sudden death in 1997.

He also designed many signature appliances and furnishings for Alessi, and was a prolific writer and critic in addition to his design practice and teaching engagements. Rossi was famously described by Ada Louise Huxtable, a longtime critic for The New York Times, as "a poet who happens to be an architect."


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