Aldo Rossi: “My architecture stands mute and cold”

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Aldo Rossi offers a captivating account of the relationship between human life and material forms. Rossi says that he came to “the great questions”, and to his discovery of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Georg Trakl through Adolf Loos (Rossi 1982: 46). I will outline some connections between Loos, Trakl and Wittgenstein that might help us to grasp the way in which Rossi’s assertive attitude concerning architecture gradually leans towards “forgetting architecture”. (The goal is not to try and justify how they might have influenced Rossi; rather the aim is to try to understand Rossi’s work with those connections as a backdrop; to outline a constellation of affinities.) The running thread being the internal relation between the object and the subject, i.e., “construction and the artist’s own life” (Lombardo 2003: 97). I will conclude by considering architectural form on the page, that is to say, in Rossi’s plans, “a graphic variation of the handwritten manuscript”, and drawings, “where a line is no longer a line, but writing” (Rossi 1981: 6), and finally by considering what he says about his architecture, namely, that it stands “mute and cold,” tough it will still “creak” (Rossi 1981: 44), and give rise to “new meanings”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-38
Number of pages14
JournalCroatian journal of philosophy
Issue number61
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Aesthetics of urban everyday life
  • Aldo Rossi
  • Analogy
  • Architecture
  • Artefacts
  • Urban forms of life


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