Atrium Catalogue

Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes

of the XXth Century in Urban Management

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State Offices

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Via delle Torri, via Mazzini, via Pedriali, via Biodini., City of Forlì
, Italy

The building is 90-metre long and develops on 4 floors; it covers an entire block. Approved by Mussolini, it was built by Cesare Bazzani as an appropriate seat for the offices of the Ministries of Finance and Public Works, Ministry of Agriculture and part of the Ministry of Forests. The Duce’s approval of the project for the new State Offices aroused great indignation as the existing buildings facing Piazza Saffi were to be demolished. The first project of the building dating back to 1933 envisaged the preservation of Palazzo Monti-Lodi Fè, located on the corner of Via delle Torri and Via Biondini; nonetheless it was later expropriated to allow for the completion of the whole project. The size and structural rhythm of the impressive arcade at the base of the building recall ancient Roman aqueducts. The corner-body features a sort of massive tower higher than the rest of the building and is marked by a regular alternation of pilaster strips and coloured plaster. The building was once topped by a simple turret which was destroyed during the Second World War bombing and never rebuilt. Bazzani adopted rationalist notions: he rejected the symmetry and arbitrary interpretation of orders to embrace a sort of mediation between Roman and Rationalist architecture. The building was constructed using quite innovative techniques: the use of a reinforced concrete frame allowed for many more apertures and fewer constraints in terms of site plan, as well as faster construction. The use of “modern” technology was however concealed by a classicist, although simplified, façade. In 1938 Rezio Buscaroli described it as a “building of sound rationalist style”.