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Monumento ai Caduti (War Memorial)

Giuseppe Terragni, Monumento ai Caduti (War Memorial), viale Puecher, 1931-33  

In the beginning of the 1930s, Marinetti proposed a lighthouse tower, designed by Sant'Elia, as a Monumento dei Caduti (War Memorial); the Futurist architect's sketch was developed by Prampolini. The project management was entrusted to Studio Terragni. Giuseppe Terragni had expressed his intention not to touch Sant'Elia's project for the exterior; while for the interior he enjoyed broad discretion on how to articulate the spaces. The exterior of the building has a complex structure in reinforced concrete, on which there are massive blocks of Karst stone, in memory of the places where they fought. The imposing two-sided tower rises on a massive base accessed by two opposite staircases leading to the level of the entrances, from which one can redescend towards the lake or enter the Memorial, and finally reach the terrace at the top through two oval stairs. Terragni contrasts the formal compactness of the exterior with the articulation of the interior - the war memorial, the crypt and the passageways, as well as the stairs and the lift - characterised by the same geometric purism of his tomb projects. At the centre of the monument, a giant granite monolith remembers, without emphasis, the names of the Fallen. In the original project, dramatic blue glass columns should have crowned it all.