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Born Dec. 8, 1881, in Rome; died there May 19, 1960. Italian neoclassical architect.
Piacentini studied art at the Academy of Arts in Rome and engineering at the University of Rome. In the 1930’s he directed the official architectural policy of Fascist Italy. Using G. de Chirico’s metaphysical painting as a point of departure, Piacentini worked with simple, oppressive architectural forms, dissociated from the specific qualities of the material and alienated from man. In his formal buildings and complexes, Piacentini schematized classical architecture, using a geometric organization of masses and exaggerated contrasts of volume and space. He often introduced intrusive arcades and many-tiered towers into his compositions, although they were out of harmony with the inner logic of the structures.
Piacentini’s works in Rome include the University Town (1930–35, the planning and construction of the rectory) and the complex for the World’s Fair planned for 1942 (construction begun in 1937, with G. Pagano). The architect also designed the Piazza della Vittoria (begun in 1932) in Brescia.
A. V. IKONNIKOV
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