Language variant : Novocomum apartment block
Architect : Terragni, Giuseppe
Locality : Como
Country : Italy
Building style : Modern architecture (not specified)
The first chance to the Rationalist movement came, when Giuseppe Terragni was commissioned to design an apartment building near the lake Como. Building permits were granted based on drawings prepared in 1928 in a vaguely neoclassical style. The Novocomum, however, did not correspond to the permit drawings. Its sleek planes, strip windows, and metal railings earned it the popular nickname “il Transatlantico”, an ocean liner docked lakeside. In fact, it seemed so radically different from the immediate architectural environment that the licensing board threatened to have it torn down.
Kirk, Terry: The Architecture of Modern Italy – Volume II: Visions of Utopia, 1900–Present, Princeton Architectural Press, 2005, p. 76.
“The Novocomum was announced by the Italian Rationalists as the first concrete realization of the new spirit…Giuseppe Pagano wrote in Casabella that the Novocovum was a modern masterpiece…’A new aesthetic is born, a new way of living, a new way of imaging the habitation, the house. This anti-romantic, anti-decadent, anti-evanescent house not born of caprice, fashion or wild ideas of the moment but risen from the new aesthetic spiritual needs, from the necessities imposed by logic, this architect, this house that stirs today such scandal and protest, such alarm and such wonder, in a short time will not be the exception, the anomaly, it will be for everyone “the house,” the “house of tomorrow.”’
Kirk, Terry: The Architecture of Modern Italy – Volume II: Visions of Utopia, 1900–Present, Princeton Architectural Press, 2005, p. 78.
Ed. Katriina Puputti