Carlo Felice Theater--page 1 (of two pages)

Aldo Rossi

Oblique front view

Genoa's grand opera house suffered severe damage during bombing in World War Two. Finally, decades later, in 1983, a competition was held and Aldo Rossi's design was selected and ultimately actualized, contributing to the urban renewal of this section of the city. Pritzker-prize-winner Rossi reconstructed the exterior of the original the Carlo Felice Theater while redesigning the interior and adding an enlarged stage tower. Thus the old facade remains but the theater is updated with new spaces and new technology.

View from the Piazza de Farrari


Architecture conveying permanence with basic "Platonic" geometries

Rossi typically avoids historical detailing and ornament in favor of preserving the integrity of the geometric elements, non-reducible basic forms.

The "Rationalist" addition

The square punched-out windows indicate the "Rationalist" preference for basic geometries. However, variation is added by altering the number and size of the windows as the building ascends, by changing the cladding mid-way, and by introducing subtle "string courses." Even the dropped cornice adds horizontal interest.

View from the far side with exaggerated thick columns and an oversized cornice dropped down from the top


View of the addition from the back

Continue to page 2.

See also Rossi's office building in Turin.

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© 2007 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.