With liberty in Turin we mean the spread of this style in the city of Savoy, attributable to the artistic season of the belle époque typical of the late nineteenth century and which ended in a convergence towards eclecticism in the first two decades of the twentieth century.
The liberty interested Italy whole and particularly the Piedmontese capital, involving various artistic disciplines including applied arts and, mainly, l ‘ architecture. Specifically, in Turin, the latter was influenced by the influence of the Parisian and Belgian schools in its major works, becoming one of the major Italian examples of this current, not without also suffering inevitable eclectic and déco incursions.
For the success of this stylistic trend and the typology of buildings that arose in the early decades of the twentieth century, Turin was defined as “the Italian capital of liberty ” so much so that we can still perceive considerable architectural evidence of that period.
History and historical-artistic context
The transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century in Europe was characterized by a fervent renewal of artistic expressions, strongly influenced by technical progress and by the enthusiastic positivist exaltation of the important goals achieved by science. The evolutions of the artistic avant-garde of the late nineteenth century first involved the applied arts, assuming different denominations according to geographical areas: in the francophone area it took the name of art nouveau, in Germany jugendstil, in Austria sezessionstil, modern style in Great Britain and modernism in Spain.
In Italy, and particularly in Turin, the new current was initially established as “new art”, declining the term directly from the French. In the complex and varied national landscape this new current, which later also took on the name of “floral style”, never consolidated into a true Italian school of reference but was established, albeit with a slight delay compared to the major European countries, living its maximum splendor in the early twentieth century. In its first decade, in fact, we can speak of liberty, a term that finally became more widespread in Italy and deriving from the famous London warehouses of Arthur Lasenby Liberty, among the first to exhibit and spread objects and prints of exotic taste that flaunted the sinuous forms typical of this new style.
The liberty, therefore, found in ‘ architecture its most successful, leaving to posterity one of the most enduring testimony. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the upper middle class, now definitively established as a hegemonic class of Italian society, found its distinctive distinctive element in liberty, or the opportunity to show its superiority and at the same time emphasize the separation from the old noble class and its neoclassical and baroque houses still strongly linked to the more conservative eclectic style that had characterized the whole nineteenth century. However, its innovative aspect was not only the opposition to the neo-Gothic and eclecticism but also a greater consideration of the applied arts as an implicit strong point, since liberty confided, thanks also to the growing development of technology, in a large-scale production of an art that in its emblematic beauty was accessible to most of the social fabric of the time; in spite of these premises, even in Turin, this initial populist vocation of Art Nouveau waned, the ideal of a “socialism of beauty” it evolved into a rich triumph of floral motifs, threadlike ribs, bold metallic decorations of clear phytomorphic inspiration, but it soon became only a privilege of the wealthiest social classes. In this context, Torino, well in advance of the rest of Italy, was the Italian city that was able to accept the flattery of this new style and make emblem of the status of the emerging bourgeoisie local industry and foreign, that in the Piedmontese capital set up new and numerous establishments in the very near years between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Following this stylistic season, often considered “frivolous” and perhaps ingenuously optimistic, the added value of technology and industry prevailed, just as “function” prevailed over “form” but modernity soon developed into the horrors of Great War which, not only symbolically, decreed the end of the liberty season.
Turin between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the liberty
Turin, although boasting an architectural panorama characterized mainly by the Baroque connotation of the Guarinean and Juvarra school of the numerous noble palaces and the Savoy residences, in the twenty years between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries allowed itself to be permeated by this new stylistic current.
Initially known as “new art” or, according to the Turin journalist Emilio Thovez, “floral art”, this new style surprised to be so “faithfully naturalistic and in substance clearly decorative”. Following the editions of the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art, Torino saw the growing proliferation of this new style in the predominantly architectural sphere, celebrating a sort of “Renaissance of the decorative arts”, making use of contributions by the major authors of the period such as Raimondo D’Aronco and the Turin-born Pietro Fenoglio who established himself for his profitable activity as an engineer and who made the libertyTurin is one of the most shining and coherent examples of the varied Italian architectural landscape of the time.
A significant contribution also came from the industry which, involved in the foreground in the renewal process of the Piedmontese capital, played the role of privileged client but also of interlocutor able to offer the technique and a solid support for the benefit of those workers necessary for the full affirmation of this new current in Turin. Decisive, to cite an example, was the work of the Porcheddu Company based in Turin, which, thanks to the initiative of its owner Giovanni Antonio Porcheddu, as early as 1895 was the first construction company to import and use the innovative Systéme Hennebique exclusively for Italy, the first patent for the construction of “fireproof structure and floors” in reinforced concrete deposited by the French engineer François Hennebique.
Universal exhibitions and the advent of 1902
In this group of lively cultural ferment, Turin saw the birth of the Turin edition of the Universal Exposition in 1887, which led, in the wake of late Romanticism, to the simultaneous realization of the Medieval Village, following the impulses of the contemporary neo – Gothic style.
At first these events gathered a lukewarm enthusiasm, however, the subsequent editions were increasingly successful seeing the gradual affirmation of the liberty and, to give a decisive impulse to its diffusion, was the most ambitious goal of 1902, with the International Art Exhibition a modern decoration that, in its numerous pavilions in style, saw important foreign guests including Peter Behrens, Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Victor Horta, René Lalique, Charles Mackintosh, Henry van de Velde in addition to favoring a climate that helped to erect various public and private buildings, thus decreeing the definitive consecration of the liberty to a new dominant artistic style.
A further contribution was also given by the publishing industry that in Turin counted the presence of important publishing companies such as Camilla & Bertolero, Crudo & Lattuada, Editrice Libraria F.lli Fiandesio & C. and the longest running of all, the Roux and Viarengo, all active since the late nineteenth century.
The first since 1889 published the periodical The practical architecture, specialized magazine founded by the architect Andrea Donghi and then directed by his colleague Giuseppe Momo. Always published by Camilla & Bertolero was the sector magazine L’Arte Decorativa Moderna, founded in Turin in 1902 at the initiative of the Turin painter Enrico Reycend, using illustrious colleagues such as: Davide Calandra, Leonardo Bistolfi, Giorgio Ceragioli and writer Enrico Thovez. Other noteworthy periodical publications were Emporium, Italian Architecture eThe Casa Bella, tested later directed by Gio Ponti and which still exists today as Casabella.
The furniture sector was also actively involved in the thriving Art Nouveau period, an excellent field for applied arts; although still not part of an industrial reality, it could count on skilled workers and represented a highly appreciated artisan reality. Some exponents to remember are the Vetreria Albano & Macario that among the several works created the Solferino Terrace and the Mobilificio Torinese F. Cesare Gandolfo who also produced many furniture for cafes, restaurants and hotels, including the Albergo Rocciamelone di Usseglio for which he realized the whole furniture.
Turin therefore lived intensely and “all round” the liberty season which, although relatively short, became an important reference point for Italy, capable of attracting contributions from important international figures such as the Friulan architect Raimondo D ‘ Aronco that, after the recent achievements in Istanbul, for the Turin exhibition of 1902 designed the Great Vestibule. On the wave of the success of the exhibition, Turin continued to be fertile ground for various experiments, albeit very coherent and sober, by a large group of architects and engineers such as: Eugenio Ballatore di Rosana, Giovanni Battista Benazzo, Pietro Betta, Eugenio Bonelli, Paolo Burzio, Carlo Ceppi, Camillo Dolza, Andrea Donghi, Michele Frapolli, Giuseppe Gallo, Giuseppe Gatti, Giovanni Gribodo, Quinto Grupallo, Gottardo Gussoni, Giuseppe Hendel, Giacomo Mattè Trucco, Eugenio Mollino, Giuseppe Momo, Ludovico Peracchio, Alfredo Premoli, Giovanni Reycend, Annibale Rigotti, Paolo Saccarelli, Annibale Tioli, Giovanni Tirone, Giovanni Vacchetta, Antonio Vandone of Cortemilia, Giuseppe Velati Bellini, Genesio Vivarelli; however, the most prolific character and undisputed protagonist of the Turin liberty was, without a doubt, Pietro Fenoglio.
The main protagonist of the Turin liberty was undoubtedly Pietro Fenoglio, whose prolific activity delivered some of the greatest Italian examples of this new style to Turin. For about thirteen years he devoted himself to the construction of over three hundred projects between villas and palaces, some of which concentrated in the area of Corso Francia and adjacent streets, as well as several industrial buildings commissioned by the new Turin ruling class; however, his contribution was not only that of an esteemed professional, he was also called to intervene at the political level, holding positions as councilor and consultant for the study of the new master plan completed in 1908.
Fenoglio was also among the organizers of the editions of the International Exposition of 1902 and 1911 but was also active in the field of publishing, being among the founders and among the most important collaborators of the magazine Modern Italian Architecture. At the same time of intense architectural activity, he also became part of the emerging industrial and financial bourgeoisie of Turin, enriching his skills and intensifying his influence in the construction sector; Fenoglio, in fact, held the position of vice-president of the well-known Impresa Porcheddu, of the Anonima Cementi del Monferrato Company, as well as that of a member of the Accomandita Ceirano & C. and managing director of the nascent Banca Commerciale Italiana.
Fenoglio’s work is characterized by the skilful use of pastel shades, wall decorations that alternate floral subjects with circular geometric elements and the large use of frames in litociation combined with the decorative elegance, sometimes daring, of iron and glass, electing them materials privileged. Among his best known works include: the Villino Raby (1901), the famous Villa Scott (1902), triumph of loggias, turrets, bay windows, bow windows and, above all, his most known and appreciated: Casa Fenoglio-Lafleur (1902), considered «the most significant example of art nouveau stylein Italy. ”
Other noteworthy buildings that reproduce decorative elements deriving from the success of Casa Fenoglio-Lafleur are the Casa Rossi-Galateri (1903) in Via Passalacqua and the no less appreciable Casa Girardi (1904) in Via Cibrario 54. Fenoglio’s work was relatively short but profitable and many similar buildings can be mentioned, other “rent houses” for residential use: Casa Rey (1904), Casa Boffa-Costa (1904), Casa Macciotta (1904), Casa Balbis (1905), Casa Ina (1906), Casa Guelpa (1907), up to go out of Piedmont, with the construction of the villa dell ‘ on. Magno Magni in Canzo, near Como.
The phenoglian activity also had as its client the emerging world of industry, which found in Turin a favorable place to establish the seat of new settlements. Among the best known we can mention: the Conceria Fiorio (1900), the Boero Factory (1905), the Fonderie Ballada (1906), the automobile factory of Officine Diatto (1907) and the great building of the first Italian brewery Bosio & Caratsch, with the attached manor house (1907) and, of course, the Leumann Village.
The Leumann Village
Thanks to the acquired experience in the design of industrial plants, Fenoglio also took care of the vast project of the Leumann Village. It was born from the idea of an enlightened entrepreneur of Swiss origin, Napoleon Leumann, who moved the establishment of his textile company from Voghera to Turin, benefiting from the advantages offered by the Piedmontese capital, a veteran of the disputed transfer of the capital to Florence and then Rome; moreover, the wide offer of specialized labor at reduced costs completed the process of attracting foreign capital and entrepreneurs such as Abegg, Geisser, Kind, Metzger, Menier, Remmert, Scott, contributing to make Turin the new capital of industry. The choice fell on the vast plot of land of about 60 000 m² in the countryside surrounding Collegno, at the time a small town just outside the city. The presence of irrigation canals and the proximity of the new railway that, running along the axis of the current course of France, allowed a rapid connection with Turin, the nearby Rivoli, was fundamental in the choice of the place.but also with the Val di Susa and France, through the new Fréjus tunnel.
The complex, designed between 1875 and 1907 by Pietro Fenoglio, consists of two residential districts of the textile factory, which ceased its activity in 2007, which originally housed about a thousand people among workers, employees and their families. It still includes 59 small villas and houses divided into 120 lodgings, each provided from the beginning with attached toilets and a shared garden on the ground floor. In addition to the cotton mill, the houses, the public baths, the “Wera Leumann” kindergarten and the school, Fenoglio also designed the church of Santa Elisabetta: one of the very few in the world, perhaps the only one, made in liberty style.
The urban organization, the architecture of the buildings, the social institutions and the welfare services created in it have made the village an organism that placed at the center of its objectives a higher quality of life of the workers, both at work and in private life; a well-defined area in which work, family, leisure, social and social security institutions were closely intertwined, forming a socially evolved and efficient environment.
Similar examples arose in the same period in Lombardy and in Veneto, but the Leumann Village is perhaps the most extensive example, complete and functional, such as to have become an interesting testimony of historical, cultural and architectural character.
The other characters of the Turin liberty
Despite the mainly Baroque connotation of the Guarinian and Juvarra school, the architectural heritage of the old capital of the Savoy still preserves important evidence of liberty still intact and the presence of architectures of that era can still be seen in some central areas of the capital as the quarters of the historic center, the Crocetta, San Salvario, the hill but with an absolute predominance in the area around the first stretch of Corso Francia, including the Cit Turin and San Donato districts.
The emblem of some early experiments that, from a still evidently eclectic approach so dear to Carlo Ceppi, still leave Protostilemi liberty to shine, are certainly Palazzo Bellia (1898) and Palazzo Priotti (1900). Here Ceppi, has been able to merge baroque and eclectic styles with sinuosity already liberty and, in the case of Palazzo Bellia, has made extensive use of bay windows, turrets and trilobed arches, making it one of the most characteristic buildings of the central via Pietro Micca.
A pupil of Carlo Ceppi, the prolific Pietro Fenoglio built his success on the avowed liberty style and his stylistic influence infect many other architects, fueling a growing and fruitful competition that made the Turin liberty season worthy of being remembered. The antagonism of the large group of architects who in these years worked in Turin also saw different currents of the same style flourish; the architect Pietro Betta, for example, differed to embrace a style more traceable to the sezessionstil and in whose studio young architects were formed such as Domenico Soldiero Morelli and Armando Melis de Villa, protagonists of the following season of Italian rationalism. Betta’s work was distinguished by the more monumental approach, contaminated by classic elements skilfully combined with secessionist styles, whose most impressive example appears in the Avezzano House (1912) of the Crocetta district, where the façade is marked by a sequence of large protruding Corinthian columns supported by taurine protomes and “chained” to a series of bay windows.
Other noticeably secessionist examples are Casa Bonelli (1904), the residence of the same architect Bonelli, whose façades are characterized by very particular French windows surrounded by a wide circular frame that show a finely decorated ornamentation and Casa Mussini, austere residential building of the precollina, designed by the Ferrari architect in 1914.
Another exponent close to the design vocabulary of Pietro Betta was the architect Annibale Rigotti who, at the corner of via Vassalli Eandi with via Principi d’Acaja, not far from Fenoglio’s Casa Ina, designed Casa Baravalle (1902), a recognizable single-family villa for its blue walls and characterized by geometric decorations, with extremely sober shapes. Here Rigotti, already the author of some pavilions of the International Exposition of 1902, seems almost to anticipate the rigor that will prevail in the following style déco.
From 1902 onwards, on the wave of the success of the exhibitions, the liberty spread throughout the city contributing to its growth. The contextual industrial vocation of the city also attracted the new workforce and the demand for housing grew to the point of widening the urban fabric. Thanks to the advent of electricity and its growing popularity, the industries proliferated and established new settlements on the outskirts of the city, definitively abandoning the San Donato district and the precollinare area, an obligatory choice until the driving force was relegated to hydraulic energy of the mills and jacks that rose in those areas characterized by strong differences in height.
The San Salvario district, close to the Valentino Park and where the exhibitions of those years took place, was one of the first to develop new blocks of industrial and residential buildings, sometimes modifying the prospect of existing buildings or requesting the authorization for project variants to construct buildings with a “contemporary” look. In addition to the numerous “rent houses” of the nearby via Pietro Giuria, via Saluzzo and via Madama Cristina, Villa Javelli also rose in San Salvario, the Turinese dwelling that D’Aronco designed and built for his wife; not far away is the well-known Villino Kind (1906), residence of the Swiss engineer Adolfo Kind, became famous in Italy for having first introduced the new sport of skiing, and founder of the first Italian club, the Ski Club Torino.
Even the world of industry, as already mentioned, did not remain indifferent to the unprecedented sinuosity of Art Nouveau style. In addition to the tanneries and breweries designed by Fenoglio in the San Donato area, in the San Salvario district in 1903 the new headquarters of the Porcheddu Company moved, so directly involved in the building ferment of these decades, it occupied a low building that was in progress Valentino 20, or in correspondence of the current FIAT headquarters of Corso Marconi, built in the mid-thirties of the twentieth century. The nascent automotive industry also played the role of client; one of the first factories to make use of a new structure according to the dictates of the new trend was that dell’Accomandita Ceirano & C., first producing Turin car shop small “vetturelle” brand Welleyes equipped with the internal combustion engine and which Fenoglio himself was a partner; it moved the business in 1906 to the southern outskirts of the city, in the current Corso Raffaello 17, in a building still well recognizable by the access gates surrounded by large circular scrolls in litociation. FIAT itself, established in Turin in 1899, commissioned its first plant to the young architectAlfredo Premoli who, between 1904 and 1906, in Corso Dante Alighieri created the complex including the Scuola Allievi and the first factory, whose building is prominently framed by stylized floral motifs on the corners of the fired clay tops with the acronym of the Turin car company.
Also significant is the Galleria dell’Industria Subalpina, a structure inspired by the typical Parisian passages, even though it is back with an eclectic taste, which hosted the famous Caffè Romano and overlooks the elegant Caffè Baratti & Milano, renovated in 1909; its entrance from the porticoes of Piazza Castello exhibits a rich marble frame embellished with bronze bas- reliefs and richly worked interiors, with ample use of marble tarsia and stuccoes.
In the Crocetta district you can admire the remarkable Casa Maffei (1905), with railings and wrought iron bars by the Lombard master Alessandro Mazzucotelli, designed by Antonio Vandone di Cortemilia; other examples to mention are some palaces of Corso Galileo Ferraris and Corso Re Umberto, characteristic for the phytomorphic decorations and the wide use of colored glass and wrought iron. However, the architect Vandone di Cortemilia also dedicated himself to business premises: to be cited dutifully we find the Mulassano Coffee in the central Piazza Castello, whose small size does not however disfigure the elegant boiseries and mirrors, thecoffered ceiling in wood and leather and numerous bronze decorations. Further works by Vandone di Cortemilia are also present at the Monumental Cemetery, together with other works by L. Bistolfi, D. Calandra, G. Casanova, C. Fumagalli, E. Rubino and A. Mazzucotelli.
In the San Donato area, in addition to the dazzling Casa Fenoglio, in via Piffetti there are two examples dating back to 1908, by Giovanni Gribodo and not far away there are other examples of Art Nouveau buildings in via Durandi, via Cibrario and still in via Piffetti, at number 35; while Giovan Battista Benazzo is Casa Tasca (1903), which shows off floral decorations, circular geometric patterns and rich wrought iron decorations for railings and windows.
In the neighboring district Cìt Turìn, along Via Duchessa Jolanda, there are two buildings designed by Gottardo Gussoni, clear examples of late Art Nouveau dating back to 1914; similarly, even the buildings in the back via Susa reproduce the same setting: a central courtyard with a low building at the bottom surmounted by a crenellated tower, an element that makes the liberty of Gussoni a style increasingly characterized by an eclecticism that will then lead into a neo-Gothic true, to become one of the architects preferred by Cav. Carrera.
Daniele Donghi and Camillo Dolza: two engineers at the service of the public administration
The Turin liberty season was also characterized by a conspicuous realization of public buildings including schools, offices and public baths. In this area of the local administration emerged distinguished figures including first the engineer Daniele Donghi, former professor of technical architecture in Milan and Padua, who for fifteen years was head of the Technical Office of Public Works, a position he left the same time as the office of the Municipality of Padua, that of Venice, eventually becoming director of the Milan branch of the Porcheddu Company in Turin.
In Donghi replaced the engineer Camillo Dolza who signed the most important projects of public housing in Turin in the early decades of the twentieth century, including the impressive building of the master high school “V. Monti” of corso Galileo Ferraris 11 (1900), the first Municipal Baths in Via G. Saccarelli (1901), those in Via O. Morgari (1905), those in Borgo Vanchiglia (1910), Palazzo Poste and Telegrafi in Via Alfieri (1908) and the new elementary school “Santorre di Santarosa” in via Braccini (1920).
The neo-Gothic and the detractors of the liberty
Parallel to the sometimes exaggerated naturalism of Art Nouveau, the neo-gothic movement continued to be the favorite style of the aristocracy and of the more conservative and traditionalist taste; moreover, thanks to the strong allegorical connotation of medieval inspiration, the preferred style for the construction of religious buildings was confirmed, apart from the only Italian case of the liberty church dedicated to Saint Elizabeth, inside the Leumann Village.
One of the greatest detractors of the liberty was the Turinese poet Guido Gozzano who, ironically, lived and died in a building designed according to this new style by Pietro Fenoglio himself. He often expressed words of blame for liberty, to the point of calling it “rubella of good taste”, almost to compare it to a fleeting infatuation for European models that, according to his thought, they had no connection with the Italian architectural tradition; on the contrary, in the neogothic he sensed a healthy “return to order” that sheltered from dangerous stylistic avant-gardes too audacious.
Of the same idea were also the major exponents of the nobility and finance that, although without resorting to the neo-Gothic, for their representative buildings prefer a more sober, traditional and conservative neoclassical style, as happened for example for the eclectic building of Assicurazioni Generali Venice in Piazza Solferino, designed by Pietro Fenoglio himself who, however, bent over to the indisputable needs of the client.
In addition to the well-known Medieval Village of the Valentino Park, jewel of a careful study of local medieval vestiges coordinated by the Portuguese architect Alfredo d’Andrade, in the elegant residential district Cit Turin you can see excellent examples of civil architecture in the commissioned works da Carrera: the Casa della Vittoria (1918 – 20) by Gottardo Gussoni, together with Carrera’s home, are the most important example of this. The work of the architect Giuseppe Gallo is also noteworthy in the same district, to whom we owe the project of the church dedicated to Jesus Nazareno overlooking Piazza Martini. Further examples of Neo-Gothic style civil buildings can be seen in the nearby San Donato district with the group of houses in Via Piffetti, famous for their wrought iron, sphinx features and peacock-tail decorations.
Other isolated examples of the neogothic of Giuseppe Gallo are also present in the area of San Salvario and in the Crocetta district, where stands the Casa Lattes (1911), an impressive example at the intersection of via Sacchi and Corso Sommelier. In the Parella district, on the other hand, at the extreme outskirts of the countryside, stands the Palazzotto Arduino, a rich example of neogothic created by the architects Coppedé and Mesturino in 1926, when the architectural avant-garde was already experimenting in the city the first examples of rationalism as, for example, Palazzo Gualino.
The final parable of the liberty, the advent of the art deco and the neoliberty
The art déco
While the horrors of the First World War decreed, not only symbolically, the end of the carefree season of Art Nouveau, during the second decade of the twentieth century the theme of “function” prevailed over “form” and art deco was a sort of stylistic synopsis that he saw transforming his sinuous audacity into more rigorous styles that anticipated, even if only slightly, the main characteristics of rationalism; Turin also hosts some worthy examples of this new current.
In addition to some villas on the hilly area, one of the first expressions of Deco architecture appeared in Via Cibrario 62, where Casa Enrieu of architect Bertola stands: its decorative apparatus, now devoid of floral decorations, is characterized by frames and odivaghi motifs alternating with flat surfaces; the same goes for the building next door, on the corner with the nearby Via Bossi.
Another example of art deco was the building that was built on the corner of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II which was built in 1926 on a design by the engineer Bonadè-Bottino to house the Palazzo del Cinema, later Cinema Corso, at the time the cinema largest in Italy; despite its destruction in a fire in March 9, 1980, the characteristic façade with angular access surmounted by a dome was preserved and the building was destined for different use, on a project by the architect Pier Paolo Maggiora. In Piazza Solferino,, on the other hand, there is another example of the sober and elegant forms created in 1928designed by Giuseppe Momo, as the headquarters of the Società Anonima Edile Torinese,
Another Turin artist who established himself for his déco works was the architect Vittorio Eugenio Ballatore di Rosana. Already author of the motovelodromo of vague liberty inspiration and of the grandiose Stadium, he distinguished himself for the design of the Rivella Towers, the couple of buildings placed in the homonymous square at the intersection of corso Regina Margherita and Corso Regio Parco, as well as the ‘impressive building of the “Galileo Ferraris” Electrotechnical Institute, of corso Massimo d’Azeglio and a group of buildings near piazza Bernini.
The neoliberty and the posthumous revaluation of the Turin liberty
In the fifties of the twentieth century the liberty had a sort of reinterpretation by some exponents of the Turin architecture of the time including Roberto Gabetti, Aimaro Isola, Sergio Jaretti and Elio Luzi and also the Milanese firm BBPR that, for their reinterpretation of floral and structural styluses, induced the critic Paolo Portoghesi to define this neoliberty phenomenon. The so-called House of the Obelisk is emblematic of Jaretti and Luzi, where refined stylistic references emerge with refined irony that lead to a revisiting of the building materials, proposing the use of the lito cement for decorative elements that characterize all the sinuous prospects of the building markedly marked by overlapping horizontal reliefs that recall Gaudí’s modernist morphologies.
Also in the hilly area of Borgo Po, at the beginning of the 2000s, an eccentric building appeared on the project of architect Alessandro Celli, who for his client created Villa Grivet Brancot, a true “historical fake”: a house unifamigliare characterized by a rich decorative apparatus consisting of litoceremento, cornices, decorations and wrought iron that seem to belong to the repertoire of Fenogliano but which are the result of careful contemporary research of workers and material that is philologically consistent with the Art Nouveau era and its perpetual tribute.
Source from Wikipedia