ArchiTALKS Franco Purini

Isplora as Publishers

The lesson proposes a journey around the figure, thought and works of Franco Purini, one of the most relevant Italian and international architects.

Through the architect's direct testimony, the narration goes through the different stages of training, research and construction of the Purini-Thermes studio, established in Rome by the architects Franco Purini and Laura Thermes.

The lesson starts with the “Roman” life portrait of the architect, where the workers' extraction of his family and the city's neighborhoods are fundamental elements. We arrive then at the moment in which the architect becomes fully aware of the profession through a fascinated gaze on the project of the Tuscolano neighborhood, designed by Mario De Renzi and Saverio Muratori.

The city and its architecture thus become essential elements and research territories in the education of the architect from the university years when, together with Laura Thermes, reference figures such as Ludovico Quaroni, Bruno Zevi, Manfredo Tafuri and Paolo Portoghesi stand out. A training course that sees the architect Maurizio Sacripanti, a real master and Vittorio Gregotti take on great importance.

These are the years when a "cosmic" conception of architecture takes form, where drawing becomes a fundamental component in Purini's research and design practice, as well as an essential component in the construction of his language.  Drawing is intended as a mystery and, at the same time, as "the architect's gaze on the world". Indeed, it is a component that constitutes, together with utopia, a necessary passage for the project drafting.

What emerges is the project idea for Franco Purini, a language that sinks into Rationalism, the generative grammar of Chomsky and minimal art.

The ArchiTALKS then deals with the projects of the Purini-Thermes studio covering a long time span, from the first works dealing with the "large scale", understood in a landscape sense, passing to research on the "mental" place - carried on with the façade de La Strada Novissima for the Venice Biennale - and the post-earthquake reconstruction theme in Belice. In this period Purini-Thermes Studio designed the projects for Gibellina, from the "Casa del Farmacista" to the "Cinque Piazze" as well as the designs for Poggioreale, from the bus stop to the Chapel and square of St. Anthony of Padua.

A long and careful work that has continued over the years, addressing the issue of building in height, with the competition of the Five Towers for Shanghai and with the construction of the Eurosky tower at EUR Castellaccio. What emerges is the construction of a coherent whole, the teachings, and advice of architect Franco Purini that lead to the need to bring architecture back to places.

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