“7 Projects” is a series of monographs on architects in which each volume will address a collection of only 7 projects by the architect it discusses. Each book will be illustrated with drawings, both from archives and specially produced.
Each volume will begin with a new introductory essay by its curator that explains, among other things, the reasoning behind the projects selected for inclusion. This will then be followed by a few essays addressing more specific topics (sometimes new ones, and sometimes reprintings of fundamental ones on the focal architect that will often have been translated from other languages into English).
The architects that the series will discuss include:
1. Carlo Aymonino
2. César Pelli
3. Alexander “Greek” Thomson
4. Jean Nouvel
5. Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola
6. John Portman
7. McKim, Mead & White
8. Gianugo Polesello
9. Gian Lorenzo Bernini
10. Giuseppe Vaccaro
“Le Vite” is a series of short biographies that will be produced in pairs. They will be written somewhat in the manner of Vasari’s Lives and paired as Plutarch did in his Parallel Lives. These biographies will not necessarily be strictly consistent with historical sources (some of them will also be biographies of fictional characters). The pairings will unavoidably be less conceptually consistent than Plutarch’s incredibly coherent series of Greek and Roman heroes, for sometimes the paired figures are being juxtaposed simply because they were contemporaries; sometimes it is because their lives display surprising similarities; sometimes it is because they were rivals; sometimes it is because they tried – albeit in different circumstances – to do the same thing; sometimes it is because we would just like to imagine them meeting one another; and sometimes it is simply because it is fun to think about the activity of one while looking at that of the other.
Although the protagonists of these pairings are not necessarily architects, the focus will always be on architecture:
John Nash and John Soane / Carl von Clausewitz and Karl Friedrich Schinkel / Lina Bo Bardi and Liliana Grassi / Alison Smithson and James Stirling / Frank Lloyd Wright and The Fountainhead’s Howard Roark / Victor Gruen and Richard Neutra / Ivan Leonidov and Gordon Matta- Clark / Luigi Moretti and Fernand Pouillon / Walter Gropius and Hannes Meyer / Frederick Law Olmsted and Mark Twain / Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Christopher Wren / Oscar Niemeyer and Apollodorus of Damascus / Suicidal architects: Francesco Borromini, Mario Ridolfi, Takis Zenetos / Vincenzo Scamozzi and Oswald Mathias Ungers / Sigfried Giedion and Marc-Antoine Laugier / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Donato Bramante / Louis Sullivan and Daniel Burnham / Philip Johnson and Don King / Eadweard Muybridge and Francis Bacon / Carlo Aymonino and João Batista Vilanova Artigas / Robert Moses and Georges-Eugène Haussmann / Marcello Piacentini and Ernesto Nathan Rogers / Reyner Banham and Manfredo Tafuri / Adolf Loos and Glenn Gould / André Le Nôtre and Domenico Fontana / Franco Albini and Steve Albini / Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Georg Friedrich Händel / Dante and Giotto / Masaccio and Kurt Cobain
“The Universal History of Cities” is an encyclopedic project that aims to provide a basic knowledge of the urban development of the most significant cities in the world. Just as Le città nella storia d’Italia did, “The Universal History of Cities” has been imagined as a working tool for every cultural operator facing the problems of the urban context in his or her everyday life.
While all of the series’ volumes will make reference to historical maps, each individual volume will trace a given city’s urban growth through a collection of essays and by means of newly produced synthetic maps and architectural drawings that are consistently uniform in style and scale.
“The Universal History of Cities” has been imagined as a collective work. While produced by San Rocco, each volume will be edited by a different author, usually someone local, who will be tasked with the coordination of a team of researchers and professionals.
The project’s scale and scope are extremely ambitious. When compared to San Rocco’s other new projects (“Le Vite” and “12 Projects,” as outlined above), “The Universal History of Cities” will require longer timespans for the generation of the necessary research and to manage the involvement of a large group of contributors. It is for this reason that San Rocco is seeking collaboration and support from international institutions and funding agencies.