The paper explores the relation between space, both urban and rural territory arranged by Ottoman Empire, and a western power (Italy) that wanted to impose different aesthetic codes to shape new spatial structures, those derived from a complex blending of Modernism and rhetorical architecture (Ciucci, 1989). Italian modernism, at the beginning of twentieth century, molded autocratic spaces by four main design tools: pure volumes, colors and materials, rhythms, and scales (Rava, 1931). Town planning was a large-scale architectural project, of a metaphysical nature, setting a scene that was classical and abstract at the same time. The minimum fascist configuration was the cardo-decumano scheme, cris-crossed in the rectangular square (forum) where the space is enclosed with porticos. Italian new roman forums (E42, Foro Italico, Città Universitaria) served as models, re-elaborated and grafted in another cultural environment. Italian Modernism implemented a new aesthetics from the field of figurative art that made some authors address fascist architecture as a built metaphysics (Besana et al., 2002), namely history that has been freed from material implications. The classical-oriented civilization of the New Order translated the state of otherness of early century Metaphysical art into reality (Trione, 2006). The same alienation and absolute power of silence of Giorgio de Chiricos’s paintings arouses in the spaces designed for Albanian towns. Therefore, the grammar of WWII Italian urban designs in Albania arouses two main topics: How western Modernism plunged into an ottoman built environment? How do we define the grammar of spaces that constitute the body of Italian architectural identity?
Menghini, A.B., Resta, G. (2018). The Grammar of Italian Modernism in Albania: Transforming the Ottoman Built Environment. In Learning from Rome. Historical Cities and Contemporary Design (pp.426-434). Roma : U+D edition.