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(Archinect.com) What should we do with beautiful, fascist buildings?

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 08 March 2019

What should we do with beautiful, fascist buildings?

Shane Reiner-Roth 
Mar 8, 2019
Fiat Tagliero Building in Asmara, Eritrea, by Futurist architect Giuseppe Pettazzi.
Fiat Tagliero Building in Asmara, Eritrea, by Futurist architect Giuseppe Pettazzi.

"By championing virtues such as speed, technology, youth, and flight, the Futurists worked to cement Italy’s status as highly advanced and, thus, superior. In Asmara, the handsome structures built between 1935 and 1941 became multi-faceted tools of oppression.

"Eight decades later, these Italian-designed edifices are still standing, albeit in need of rehabilitation. But preserving Asmara’s Futurist architecture necessarily preserves the fascist agenda that erected them in the first place...
 — Atlas Obscura

Though the Futurists are featured in virtually every textbook on Modernism, their politics can be described as more than controversial. As they embraced speed, technology and scientific progress, the Italian group was also upfront about its misogyny, sympathetic towards fascist ideologies and eager to shed lessons learned from the past. 

The Futurist Alfa Romeo building in Asmara, Eritrea

The Futurists built a significant number of buildings based on their principles in Asmara, a city in the African country Eritrea, that remain to this day. As they begin to show their age more than 80 years after their initial construction, the question remains: should we preserve buildings  designed by hateful and oppresive ideologies? As the buildings of the tumultuous 20th century show their age, we must decide which should withstand the tests of time and which should be abolished.

What should we do with beautiful, fascist buildings? | News | Archinect


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