Perimeter block, infill
Pinturicchio
Luccichenti, Ugo | Rome, Italy | 1948-49
Image of Pinturicch...
Viale Pinturicchio facade

ProjectPinturicchio
ArchitectLuccichenti, Ugo
CityRome
CountryItaly
AddressViale Pinturicchio 93
Building TypePerimeter block, infill
Number of DwellingsNA
Date Built1948-49
Dwelling TypesNA
No. Floors11
Section Typeskip-stop double-loaded slab
Exterior Finish
Materials
stone, stucco, brick, wood windows
Construction TypeRC frame, masonry walls
Ancillary Servicesparking and shopping

Ugo Luccichenti graduated with an engineering degree in 1928. After working in several offices for a few years, he opened his own studio in Rome and his first projects were the palazzini on via Panama and via Giovanni done between 1935 and 1938. Ugo had a younger brother Amadeo, also a practicing architect, who had a long association with the architect Vincenzo Monaco. The Via Panama commission was with the Società Generale Immobiliare (IN) and this was the beginning of a long association with the IN as the open land around the central city was developed in the decades following WWII. Outstanding in this long list of palazzini, and intensive (see Rea for more about the palazzina housing type), is the large apartment block on via Pinturicchio (1949), that is actually popular housing (intensivo), the two apartment buildings on Via del Fratelli Ruspoli (1946-49), the “Belsito nord” complex (1953), and the apartment block on Viale Libia (1954. All these buildings were built as part of the vast expansion of Rome that occurred in the two decades surrounding WWII and reveal Luccichenti’s special talent for producing sophisticated designs in a very difficult real estate market, “The City of the Immobiliare”.

Pinturicchio is an 11-story infill addition to a perimeter block along the Lungotevere west of the Flamina district. Via Pinturicchio is one of the streets radiating from Port della Musica. The west front along via Pinturicchio is one of the most remarkable facades in Rome. Zones of flush windows, recessed terraces and cantilevered balconies create alternating horizontal bands of solid and void and result in a very three-dimensional, spatially stratified surface. The structural frame is revealed at the open terrace zone and implied in the flush zone by a window arrangement that pairs square and rectangular windows to each side of the frame. Small balconies cantilever at each column accentuating the vertical character of the structural frame while, at the same time, counterpointing the horizontal zones. The balconies project from the flush and recessed zones alike implying homogeneity of surface while further developing the theme of a layered facade of several superimposed surfaces. The flush zones are stucco but the infill between the frame at the balcony floor is dark, rough-finished brick mixed with flat pieces of travertine, a theme perhaps derived from various antique fragments in the city. An entry for parking and a glazed building lobby form a minimal base while the cantilevered roof implies a cornice to the building.

The alternating solid-void composition of the horizontal zones suggests maisonettes in a skip-stop organization with dwellings facing both sides of the building. The paired columns, are flush with the outer wall, one finished in plaster the other in brick, the screened side balustrades of the balconies that allow the brick balustrades to visually slide behind the balcony, and the diagonal shape of the balcony combine to create the appearance of an undulating three-dimensional surface; a stereometrical pattern. Although Luccichenti’s work is dominated by palazzini, and he was also experimenting with surface effects in other intensive, via Libia for example, the sheer formal brilliance of the Pinturicchio facade sets it apart from most edlizia populare; a rich patterned surface without equal in Rome.

Guida dell Árchitettura Contemporanea in Roma, Associazione Nazionale Ingegneri e Architetti Italiani, Rome, c. 1966, p. C-6.

De Guttry, Irene, Guida de Roma moderna dal 1870 ad oggi, Roma, 1989, p. 130.

Ficorilli, Gianluca, “Luccichenti, Ugo”, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 66 (2007). (http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/ugo-luccichenti_(Dizionario-Biografico)/

Muratore, Giorgio, “Ugo Luccichenti”, Architettura, Jan 2006 (http://archiwatch.it/2006/01/page/3/)

Palmieri, Valerio, Ugo Luccichenti Villino Triofonale a Rome, 1953-1959, letture di architettura 5.

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