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Slide item 1

Former music high school: osmosis between the traditional Ferrarese style and European modernism

Photo: Municipality of Ferrara Archive

Slide item 2

“Prestigious” buildings such as the Museum of Natural History were built to display the power of the Fascist regime

Photo: Municipality of Ferrara Archive

Slide item 3

Elementary school Alda Costa (1932-1933)

Photo: Municipality of Ferrara Archive

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Cinema Boldini, former Fascist community centre built between1935 and 1939 in rationalist style

Photo: Municipality of Ferrara Archive

Slide item 5

Palazzo dell’Aeronautica (1935-1937): elegant geometry, traditional red bricks and marble decorations

Photo: Municipality of Ferrara Archive

Ferrara, Italy

Rationalist traces in a Renaissance city

During the 1930s, the medieval and Renaissance city of Ferrara witnessed the construction of new streets and buildings in a rationalist style under the Fascist regime. This “revolution” of the urban structure was a way of displaying the presence and power of the regime.

Osmosis of tradition and modernism

Between 1932 and 1939, close to the Castello Estense, “prestigious” buildings in a rationalist style were built: a primary school, now named "Alda Costa", the Museum of Natural History, the music school (today the G. Frescobaldi State Conservatory), and the Dopolavoro Provinciale Fascista, the Fascist community centre (today the Cinema Boldini). The engineer Carlo Savonuzzi constructed these buildings in harmony with the existing urban context, creating a kind of osmosis between the traditional Ferrarese style and European modernism. Most of the buildings are in traditional red brick, in contrast with the cornices and pedestals which are in natural stone or reinforced concrete.

The metaphysical Palazzo dell’Aeronautica

The Palazzo dell’Aeronautica (former military hospital) is considered a masterpiece of 20th century architecture. It was designed by the engineer Giorgio Gandini and built under the direction of Carlo Savonuzzi between 1935 and 1937. The building is elegantly shaped and is in traditional red brick with some marble features. The focal point is the main entrance, located on the corner of two streets. Its semi-circular body, a large vertical arched window and two stone spheres give the building a somewhat metaphysical aspect.

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