By Anne Leader

Modernist architect Giuseppe Terragni was born on 19 July 1943 in Meda, Lombardy. He was mainly active in Como, where he started his own practice in 1927. Part of the Gruppo Sette (Group of 7), Terragni contributed to the development of Italian Rationalism. He is best known for his apartment complex “Novocomum” (1927-29) and the Casa del Fascio in Como (1932-36). Novocomum, exhibited in the first Gruppo 7 show in Rome in 1928, is widely recognized as the first built example of Italian Rationalism. The Casa del Fascio (renamed Casa del Popolo) was his most important commission, built as the local Fascist party headquarters in Como. Small rooms were wrapped around a central atrium, providing space for offices, meetings, and publicity. After this success, he was called on for other Fascist party projects. He was drafted into the army in September 1939 and sent first to the Balkans and then to Russia. He suffered a nervous collapse at the Battle of Stalingrad and was hospitalized first abroad and then at Pavia after January 1943. His official cause of death was listed as embolism, but some suspect he committed suicide.

Reference: Thomas L. Schumacher. “Terragni, Giuseppe.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. .

Novocomum, 1927-29, Como

Casa del Fascio, 1932-6, Como

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