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The origins of this architecture have two equally important motivations: the first one is the utility of the buliding, which means its function, strongly "communicative"; the second one is its symbolic meaning, which means the capacity in expressing a set of social or storical references. Each of the two motivations are integrated in the relationship between the plan and the elevation.
To the hexagone, which has been choosen as an element able to gather toward a center the surrounding units, there's a corresponding polyhedral, or rather a group of polyhedrals which becomes the actual architectonic complex. The hexagonal plan is the answer to the needs of fast communicability between the different parts of the "floor" and fast circulation-in the precise practical meaning of the word- of news and documents. The polyhedrical towers are to be considered as synthesis of cultural references, which is the union of significative shapes in an storical,geografical defined environment. The two allusive extremes are the octagones of the big baptisteries(...) and of the roman-gothic castles during the Comunal Period of the lowland of the Po and the metallic framework of gasometers; the moment of the solid medieval and antifeudal merchant strength and the moment of the industrial era which introduced Italy to the modern culture of industrial production. The lowlands seem to naturally require a civil sign, the verticality of a belfry or a tower; and all the industrial "castles naturally fitted in the fog of the "Bassa". It is legitimate to consider that these shapes and the suburban gasometers became characteristic of certain contemporary Art.
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And from this building of San Donato Milanese, we can notice, as a pertinent reference, the polygone of the nolare tower, as a pertinent reference from the earliest time of the Visconti's family, and it has an overview upon the properties of the Chiaravalle abbey. A vertical movement within which the surfaces are to be considered as colors and reflections (...)
The colourful elements recall the marble details of the roman-gothic "specchi"; they represent the counterpart to the right-angles, angle-frames, lozenges, oblique elements that are remarkably opposites to the perpendicular crossings. More than the cuneiform signs or Eufrate's seals, ovious references to a civilisation connected with asphalt and oil, these decorative patterns are referred to a double "sedimentary era": geology and micropaleontology, when weeds and reptiles traced in alpine rocks became rotten under the sediments to further become gaz and viscous substance and became the obscure historical layers of the Po lowlands, then the "Comunale" society has distilled itself from the melting pot of different tribes leaving relics such as : celtic coins, byzantine stones and masonry masters, barbaric decorations from the longobard era, the first votive scriptures...
F.Fortini,Palazzo degli uffici ENI, in " L'architettura,cronache e storia", n° 36,1958, pp 368-381.
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