Italian modern architecture, italian architectural modernism, modern buildings italy
MAXXI_National Museum of XXI Century Arts - Photo: Roland Halbe

Italian Modern Architecture

The subject of architecture in Italy typically makes one think of classical buildings such as the Colloseum in Rome, the Pantheon, or the Piazza of San Marco in Venice.

Around the turn of the 20th century prominent Italian architects looked to find a national modernist language and personal identity, within the various pillars of the modernist movement and under rule of a fascist government.

However, the late 20th and 21st centuries have seen a growing trend towards revitalizing cities with modern architecture and urban planning in Italy. Many famous architects, both Italian, such as: Renzo Piano, Carlo Scarpa and Aldo Rossi, and international, such as: Rem Koolhaas (Netherlands), Zaha Hadid (Iraq) and Richard Meier, (USA), have designed buildings of note.

Despite Italy's already healthy tourism industry, many cities have been tempted to commission 'star architects' to design iconic buildings. The 'Bilbao effect' as it is known, refers to Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in the previously sleepy Spanish city of Bilbao. These projects are likely vehicles to promote Italy as a country of innovation as much as they are stand-alone tourist attractions.

Below are some of the modern buildings worth visiting in Italy:


Parco della Musica - Renzo Piano

Jubilee Church - Richard Meier

MAXXI - National Museum of the 21st Century Arts - Zaha Hadid


Olivetti Showroom & The Gallerie dell'Accademia (restoration) - Carlo Scarpa

Ponte della Costituzione - Santiago Calatrava


Luigi Bocconi Free University - Grafton Architects

Velasca Tower - BBPR

SS. Giovanni E Paolo Church - Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini

'City Life' (architecture and urban design) under construction, completion due 2014 - Arata Isozaki, Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, and Pier Paolo Maggiora

San Paolo Church - Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas


Municipal Library - Studio Archea

Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church - Renzo Piano


Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium - Oscar Niemeyer


Ca Di Cozzi - Aldo Rossi

Castelvecchio Museum (renovation) - Carlo Scarpa

Verona Forum - Mario Bellini Architects

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Italian modern architecture, italian architectural modernism, modern buildings italy

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