Proponent of the first architecture exhibit at La Biennale dies of COVID-19
Renowned architect, urban planner, and educator Vittorio Gregotti, 92, dies on 15 March at the San Giuseppe hospital in Milan, Italy
March 16, 2020
Written by Denny Mata
As Italy confirmed 24,747 positive cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 on Saturday, 14 March, 368 new deaths were reported on Sunday, 15 March. The country’s death toll hit 1809 as of writing. One of the reported new deaths is renowned Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti. He died at the San Giuseppe hospital in Milan on Sunday for complications due to pneumonia after contracting the novel coronavirus. He was 92. His wife, Marina Mazza, is also being treated at the same hospital, according to previous reports, without further details.
Gregotti was born on 10 August 1927 in Novara in Italy’s Piedmont region, west of Milan. In 2016 the Centre Pompidou in Paris mounted Vittorio Gregotti–The invention of territory featuring 26 drawings and 10 models of Gregotti’s most important projects. In 2012, he was awarded a Gold Medal for lifetime achievement at the Milan Triennale. Among the recent projects of his studio, Gregotti Associati, are the Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix-en-Provence (2007); the new city of Pujiang, a town for 100,000 inhabitants in Shanghai (2007); the new Pirelli Group office building at Bicocca area in Milan (2007); the new Banca Lombarda Headquarters in Brescia, Italy (2006); and, the Arcimboldi Opera Theater in Milan (2002).
His earlier notable projects include the Genoa Stadium Luigi Ferraris in Genoa, Italy (1990); the Centro Culturale a Bélem in Lisbon, Portugal (1988); the Stadium of Barcelona and other Olympic structures (1984 and 1986); the Pirelli headquarters in Milan (1985); the Bicocca Project in Milan (1985); the ZEN district in Sicily, Italy (1969); the Palermo university mega-complex in Sicily (1969); and the Novara Office Palace (1960).
Vittorio Gregotti was appointed as La Biennale di Venezia’s new director for the Visual Arts section in 1975, considered as the ‘first steps’ towards an architecture exhibition in La Biennale. In the same year, Gregotti titled the Art Biennale Werkbund 1907. He organized A proposito del Mulino Stucky exhibit at the Magazzini del Sale, followed by other architecture exhibitions in 1976 and 1978. In 1978 Biennale, he curated the Utopia and the Crisis of Anti-Nature: Architectural Intentions in Italy.
In 2007, he received the Millennium Award of the International Triennial of Architecture of Lisbon, and in 2006 the Manfredo Tafuri Prize of the Venice Biennial of Architecture. He was also responsible for the introductory section of the XIII Triennale (Milan, 1964), which won the International Grand Prix.
Besides being an architect and urban planner, Gregotti was also an educator and a design journalist. According to the International Academy of Architecture, he taught at the Architectural Institute–University of Venice, the Faculty of Architecture in Milan and Palermo, the Universities of Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Lausanne, Harvard, Philadelphia, Princeton, Cambridge (UK), and at MIT in Cambridge (USA). Since 1976, Gregotti has been a member of the Accademia di San Luca, and the Accademia di Brera since 1995. He earned the Gold Medal for Science and Culture from the President of Italian Republic (2000), the degree honoris causa from the Polytechnic of Prague (1996), from the Polytechnic of Bucharest (1999), and the University of Porto (2003).
Gregotti collaborated with the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera (1992 to 1997), and with the daily newspaper La Repubblica (since 1997). He was an editor for the architectural column of weekly magazine Panorama (1984 to 1992), became the director of Rassegna (1979 to 1998) and Casabella (1982 to 1996). In 1991, he published Dentro l’architettura, a book on his theories on architecture, translated into English in 1996. Gregotti was an editor of Casabella (1953 to 1955), Editor-in-Chief of Casabella-Continuità (1955 to 1963), director of Edilizia Moderna (1963 to 1965), and was responsible for the architectural section of the magazine Il Verri.
Vittorio Gregotti graduated in architecture from the Polytechnic of Milan in 1952. He worked for Auguste Perret in Paris before collaborating with L. Meneghetti and G. Stoppino from 1953 to 1968. In 1974, he founded Gregotti Associati.