Outlining Terragni: A Riddle Reworked

Paper Presented at CAADFutures International Conference in Istanbul in June 2017.
Coauthor: Athanassios Economou

Hayri Dortdivanlioglu, and Athanassios Economou. “Outlining Terragni: A Riddle Reworked”, Computer-Aided Architectural Design, ed. XXX, 381-395. Springer Publication, 2017.

Despite his controversial political background, the leading architect of the Italian Rationalist Movement, Giuseppe Terragni, has attracted the attention of a large group of architectural scholars. He has often been acknowledged as an enigmatic architect whose work oscillated between classicism and modernism. This work takes on two of the most emblematic projects by Terragni, the Mambretti Tomb and the Danteum and provides a formal generation of both projects in the form of two parametric shape grammars to inquire on the possibility of a common compositional strategy underlying both projects. A new interpretation of Terragni’s work as a non-classical/classical computational model is given in the end.

Figure 1: Composite axonometrics of the two Terragni projects including plan, parti diagram, model and exploded model. (a) The Mambretti tomb; (b) The Danteum. (Drawing by authors)
Figure 2: Plans, sections and elevations of the two Terragni projects. (a) The Mambretti Tomb (b) The Danteum (Drawing by authors).

Figure 3: Underlying geometric relations of the two Terragni projects foregrounding spatial relations between a square and a golden rectangle. (a) Golden rectangle; (b) The Mambretti Tomb; and (c) The Danteum. (Drawing by authors).
Figure 4: Shape rules for the parti schemas of the two Terragni grammars. (a) The Mambretti tomb parti rules (Rm1-7); (b) the Danteum parti rules (Rd1-9).

Figure 5: Shape rules for the architectonic stage of the two Terragni grammars. (a) The Mambretti tomb architectonic rules (Rm8-19); (b) the Danteum architectonic rules (Rd10-26).

Figure 7: Automated generation of the ground plan of the two Terragni projects: (a) The Mambretti tomb; (b) The Danteum.

Figure 8: Automated generation of architectonic plans based on the two Terragni grammars. (a) Variations on the Mambretti Tomb; (b) Variations on the Danteum.
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