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Friday, November 2, 2012

The Trieste Quarter: Home to Modernism and Postmodernism

The quartiere of Trieste, to the north of Rome's center, between via Salaria and via Nomentana, is best known to tourists and architectural enthusiasts for the extraordinary collection of electicism known as Coppede', after the architect, Gino Coppede', who designed the unusual structures in the 1920s.

But there is more to Trieste than Coppede'.  As a relatively young and wealthy quartiere, Trieste also has a number of worthy modernist--and postmodernist-buildings.  Indeed, we found two at one intersection, where via Salaria crosses via Adige (on one side) and via Bruxelles (on the other).  We call it Trieste, but to be precise, one side is in Trieste, the other in Parioli. 

On the southeast corner of the intersection is a 1930s-era modernist building, architect unknown, but worthy of Luigi Moretti.  It's a narrow, asymetrical structure, sited on an oddly-shaped piece of land. 

An unusual round open loggia

It now houses the Sri Lankan embassy, which recently installed a Buddha in the white loggia, above.

The building makes substantial use of the open logia, including an unusual round open loggia.

Even more unusual, and doubtless more controversial among architects and architectural historians, is an apartment building on the intersection's northwest corner.

Built in the 1960s or 1970s (we would guess), it's modern but not modernist,  playful in a postmodern, experimental way: the vortex-like stanchion at the corner (left), the hole on an upper floor, a projecting cap at roof level, the intersecting of unusual shapes. 

Postmodernist play with shapes and forms
When you've seen Coppede'--and don't miss it (it was number 20 on RST's Top 40)--have a look at this intersection.  It's only a 5-minute walk.


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