• Neorealist Architecture: Aesthetics of Dwelling in Postwar Italy
    David Escudero
    Routledge, 2022
    David Escudero

Luisa (Gabriella Pallotta) and Natale (Giorgio Listuzzi) look at the towers in Viale Etiopia after having built their house overnight. Still from “Vittorio De Sica, Il tetto” (Rome: Co-production Titanus / De Sica Produzione / Les Films Marceau, 1956).

Italian neorealism spread from literature and film to other areas of artistic production, including architecture, during the dopoguerra period. Terms such as “neorealist architecture” or “architectural neorealism” were hinted at in these years and recalled by historians in the following decades. Therefore, the concept was adopted ad hoc and popularized post hoc, in the absence of any declarations prior to 1955 that proclaimed what neorealism in architecture was or wanted to be. However, while the concept has been internalized by Italian architectural history, significant gray areas remain on the transfers between neorealism—as an aesthetic and ethic—and architecture—as one potential medium of its embodiment or expression. Using as a starting point the visual culture where it originated—a sort of neorealist imagery—this book provides an in-depth discussion of the term “neorealist architecture,” the working assumption being that the connection between both terms is not meaningless.

David Escudero is an architect and associate professor in architecture at the Department of Architectural Composition of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ETSAM-UPM), and a member of the UPM Cultural Landscape Research Group (GIPC). His research topics focus on the intersections between theory of architecture, cinema, and representation. He was a Fulbright fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (2022), and a visiting scholar at the College of Environmental Design of the University of California, Berkeley (2017), at the gta Institute of the ETH Zurich (2017) and at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome (2018). He has authored articles in Journal of Architecture (RIBA), Architectural Theory Review, and OASE Journal for Architecture, among others.