Instauratio Urbis: Urban Artefacts & Latent Form

Aldo Rossi’s seminal text “The Architecture of the City” presents an understanding of the city as a complex man-made object. The physical form of the city records the achievements of its many creators and contributors throughout its history. Individual “objects and places” within the city are considered artefacts in themselves, and while experienced in the present, their form and image is connected to the time in which they were created. Rossi therefore concludes that the past is partly being experienced in the present.
Considering the entire city as an artefact, the individual buildings and fragments within it can themselves be considered as constituting parts of a whole. For Rossi these “urban artefacts” may be buildings, public spaces, streets or anything which contributes to the image and form of the city. Rossi differentiates his understanding of urban artefacts from the general built fabric of the city, as the fragments with a…

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