Aldo Rossi Edit Profile
After early education by the Somascan Religious Order and then at Alessandro Volta College in Lecco, in 1949 he went to the school of architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan. His thesis advisor was Piero Portaluppi and he graduated in 1959.
He began his professional career at the studio of Ignazio Gardella in 1956, moving on to the studio of Marco Zanuso. In 1963 also he began teaching, firstly as an assistant to Ludovico Quaroni (1963) at the school of urban planning in Arezzo, then to Carlo Aymonino at the Institute of Architecture in Venice. In 1965 he was appointed lecturer at the Polytechnic University of Milan and the following year he published The architecture of the city which soon became a classic of architectural literature.
His professional career, initially dedicated to architectural theory and small building work took a huge leap forward when Aymonino allowed Rossi to design part of the Monte Amiata complex in the Gallaratese quarter of Milan. In 1971 he won the design competition for the extension of the San Cataldo Cemetery in Modena, which made him internationally famous.
After suspension from teaching in Italy in those politically troubled times, he moved to ETH Zurich, occupying the chair in architectural design from 1971 to 1975.
In 1973 he was director of the International Architecture Section at the XV Milan Triennial Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Architecture, where he presented, among others, his student Arduino Cantafora. Rossi's design ideas for the exhibition are explained in the International Architecture Catalogue and in a 16mm documentary Ornament and crime directed by Luigi Durissi and produced along with Gianni Braghieri and Franco Raggi. In 1975, Rossi returned to the teaching profession in Italy, teaching architectural composition in Venice.
In 1979 he was made a member of the prestigious Academy of Saint Luke. Meanwhile, there was international interest in his skills. He taught at several universities in the United States, including Cooper Union in New York City and Cornell University in Ithaca (New York State). At Cornell he participated in the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies joint venture with New York's Museum of Modern Art, travelling to China and Hong Kong and attending conferences in South America.
In 1984 together with Ignazio Gardella and Fabio Reinhart, he won the competition for the renovation of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, which was not fully completed until 1991. In 1985 and 1986 Rossi was director of the 3rd (respectively 4th) International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale including further away display spaces such as Villa Farsetti in Santa Maria di Sala.
In 1990 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize. The city of Fukuoka in Japan honoured him for his work on the hotel complex The Palace and he won the 1991 Thomas Jefferson Medal in Public Architecture from the American Institute of Architects. These prestigious awards were followed by exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent, Belgium.
In 1996 he became an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the following year he received their special cultural award in architecture and design. He died in Milan on 4 September 1997, following a car accident
He married the Swiss actress Sonia Gessner, who introduced him to the world of film and theater. Culture and his family became central to his life. His son Fausto was active in movie-making both in front of and behind the camera and his daughter Vera was involved with theatre.
- Sonia Gessner - Actress
1942School Somaschi Fathers , Student
1949 - 1959
1955 - 1964
1956 - 1957