Tuesday, March 25, 2014


1953/56 Adalberto Libera (1903/63) for ENPAIA (Ente Nazionale per la Previdenza dei Lavoratori Agricoli e Forestali - National Agency for the Welfare of Agricultural and Forestry Workers)
Spectacular architecture of the great Tyrolean architect among the greatest exponents of Rationalism
"I felt the interior of the hall as the interior of a mandolin, but I was not helped by a mathematical formula, so I went ahead for the best with elliptical sections connected by empirical relationships" (Adalberto Libera)
It was decorated with frescoes by the brilliant abstract artist Giuseppe Capogrossi (1900/72) unfortunately partially destroyed and partially degraded by those who ran the movie theater over the years
The cinema had 800 seats and was constructed about 5 m (16.4 feet) below street level, in a housing complex designed and executed in the same years 1953/56 by Leo Calini (1903/85) and Eugenio Montuori (1907/82)
During the years it was demeaned and brutally reconverted as a disco (Charleston, Stellarium) and as a pub (Makumba) before being left abandoned until 2011, when the Municipality of Rome promoted its restoration and its recovery as a cultural center
One hopes that this gem of the art of Rome may shine again one day
"Adalberto Libera, in developing the project, declined the theme dear to him of the collective room. (...) From the stage frame, with the shape of a television of the 1950s, departed rays of green and white silk accompanying the development of the ceiling and imitating, in the intentions of the architect, the rising of the sun. To embellish the interior of the building, Libera wanted a mural created by Giuseppe Capogrossi, illustrious exponent of Italian abstract art. Spectators, entering the cinema, used to admire the beautiful color flow of the Roman painter stretched in dynamic routes on the ceiling of the large entrance stairway" (Associazione di Promozione Sociale Cineairone - Association of Social Promotion Cineairone - www.cineairone.com)
"The basic idea was to create a unified hall, eliminating the gallery. (...) To build a space functionally and psychologically fit for the purpose, Libera had chosen a shape determined on one hand by the curves of visibility, on the other hand by the desire to define a void that would have its completed form, almost with an absolute value, possibly translated into a mathematical equation. The result (...) was an ovoid with the rear deeply lowered and a considerable expansion at the proscenium. A continuous space extremely enveloping because it has no vertical walls, with the character of an animal cavity, almost the pulsating interior of an organ" (Piero Ostilio Rossi)

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