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Milan PolitecnicoHis interest in topographical factors as a basis for determining a design – already evident in his urban plan for Novara (executed 1962-7) – reached spectacular heights in the grand projects for Palermo University (from 1970), the Quartiere Zen in Palermo (from 1970), and the University of Calabria (from 1972), near Cosenza. The last (designed with Emilio Bat-tisti, Hiromichi Matsui, Pierluigi Nicolin, Franco Purini, Carlo R. Clerici, Bruno Vigano) is an extensive, bridge-like structure set in the landscape at right-angles to the nearby parallel mountain ranges. Communal services and public plazas are clustered at the point where the two-storey ‘bridge’ (for vehicles and pedestrians) adjoins the old streets of the town, while the University services – housed in buildings attached to the bridge-like spine – serve to ‘fill up’ the valley. G.’s constant concern to base his own artistic positions on rational ideas and to express them in theoretical terms, lends his work a particular weight. This, together with his tin-dogmatic openness, has placed him in a middle position in the contemporary architectural scene, one which is at once individual and fruitful. Gropius, Walter, b. Berlin 1883, d. Boston, Mass., 1969. One of the outstanding architects and teachers of the 20th century, G. was the son of an architect who occupied an important official position in Berlin. His great-uncle, Martin Gropius, himself an architect of some repute, served as Principal of the Kunst – und Gewcrbeschulc (Arts and Crafts School) in Berlin and Director of art education in Prussia. G. received his training in architecture at the Technische Hochschule, first in Munich and then Berlin. In 1907, he entered the office of Peter Behrens, where so many young architects later to become famous had also worked, among them Mics van der Rohe and Le Corbusier.

After three years in Behrens’ office G. started on his own in 1910 as an industrial designer and architect. His designing covered a wide range and included interior-decoration schemes, wall-fabrics, models for mass-produced furniture, motor-car bodies, and a diesel locomotive. His first important building was the Fagus Factory at Alfcld an der Leine, built in 1911 in collaboration with Adolf Meyer.

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