Villa Girasole
Villa Girasole. La casa rotante

18.09.2006 | recent publications
by Istituto Nazionale di Architettura

Kenneth Frampton, Aurelio Galfetti, Valeria Farinati
fotografie di Enrico Cano
2 voll. 24 x 28 cm, 76 + 136 pp.
120 ill. col., 57 ill. b/n
cartonato in cofanetto
italiano / inglese
ISBN 88-87624-17-8
€ 120 / frs 180.-

In the late 1920s the engineer Angelo Invernizzi had the singular idea of building, in reinforced concrete, a country house that would rotate. Designed for himself and his family, it would be set in the rolling hills of his birthplace east of Verona (Italy), in the old village of Marcellise. The house would be built in a dominant position, where the slope was steeper, with the roots of its revolving tower deep in the ground. A corridor- entrance dug into the hillside would lead to the buried heart of the rotation machinery, where light from the sky could penetrate from the lantern on top of the tower. A wide spiral staircase, and a modern lift, would lead from the darker depths of the house to its highest source of light: first to the monumental loggia on the podium facing the garden, then to the two inhabited and revolving floors. Finally, the family would walk, as on a ship’s bridge, across the flat roof of the two wings and, still higher up, around the tower lantern where they could admire on all sides the boundless sea of cultivated hills. Construction work on the cyclopic project began in June 1931 and ended in 1935.
The book comprises two volumes. The first tells the story of the Girasole and illustrates its progress with the help of contemporary drawings and photographs. The second takes the reader on a guided tour of the Villa accompanied by Enrico Cano’s recent colour photographs. «Along with Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre, Paris of 1932, and Adalberto Libera’s Casa Malaparte in Capri of 1938, the Villa Girasole, finally launched on its diurnal cycle in 1935, now begins to assume its rightful place as one of the eccentric masterpieces of twentieth century architecture» Kenneth Frampton

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