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ARCHITECTURE AS A LIVING ACT in blue font on berry pink cover, by ORO Editions.

Architecture as a Living Act

Leonardo Ricci

By (author) Maria Clara Ghia


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  • First monograph on Leonardo Ricci, a true maverick of 20th-century architecture
  • Ricci’s work matches with our present concerns, his ethical approach and his very early adoption of ecological principles can be held up as an example in this time of environmental and social urgency
  • The result of many years of research in multiple private and public archives and pictures a full and unprecedented image of Leonardo Ricci as an architect, artist, and thinker
  • Reinstates Ricci’s work in the broader framework of the theories and designs of postwar Europe/US until the 1980s: a large audience can be interested in discovering some inedited facts and documents about the history of the last century
  • Opens to a multidisciplinary attitude, connecting the different disciplines in which Leonardo Ricci excelled — architecture, painting, and writing — and referring to the themes of the existentialist philosophy to which he adhered to track down the primary human needs to which art and architecture should try to respond
  • Shows how Leonardo Ricci’s work can be read as a pursuit of freedom, in his quest for a habitat in which architecture would be an organic thing, able to respond to the natural environment and to connect the body to the house, the neighbourhood and the city, in a continuum that would make it possible for people to engage in free actions and discover new ways of existing
  • Leonardo Ricci was highly respected and friend with some of the leading thinkers/intellectuals/artists of 20th century, such us Umberto Eco, Albert Camus, André Bloc, Bruno Zevi, and many others
Full Description

This book, the first monograph on Leonardo Ricci’s oeuvre, uses archive materials, some of which have never been published, to investigate the entire range of Ricci’s work, by examining some of his most interesting projects and putting them into the context of the current architectural panorama.
His professional activity in the passionate climate of post-war reconstruction in Italy, his communitarian projects and experimental family residences, his book Anonymous (20th Century) in which he defined with an “existentialist” approach his theories of painting, architecture, and urban planning, his visionary projects for “Earth-City” macrostructures, his innovative approach to the spatial organisation of public institutions in his last projects, every step of Ricci’s work was always coherently connected to a basic aim: to translate into an architectural form the dynamism of phenomena and the incessant flow of life.
The book investigates Leonardo Ricci’s practical and theoretical approach to architectural design, giving this exceptional figure the recognition he deserves within the panorama of Italian and international architecture following the Second World War.

About the Author

Maria Clara Ghia is Assistant Professor in History of architecture at Sapienza University in Rome. She holds two PhDs in Architecture – theory and design and in Philosophy. For her studies on Leonardo Ricci, she won the Bruno Zevi International Prize in 2011 and the Enrico Guidoni Prize in 2019.

ORO Editions
10th Jun 2022
Paperback / softback
World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan; China non-exclusive)
254 mm x 203 mm
300 Pages
250 color
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