Title: Monumento a Sandro Pertini
Author: Aldo Rossi
Location: Milan, Italy
Year Complete: 1990
The Monument to Sandro Pertini is a work of Aldo Rossi. It was designed in 1988 and opened to the public in 1990. It is dedicated to Sandro Pertini, the 7th president of the Italian Republic. Sandro Pertini was an Italian journalist who served from 1978-1988.
The structure is a monumental fountain formed from a podium enclosed on three sides by stone walls. The back wall has a triangular duct from which water drops to a bath set in the middle of the wall. The cube measures eight meters on each side (26 feet) and is composed of Marble Candiglia blocks of pinkish gray, which is the same material as the Milan Cathedral.
The monument was designed with the city in mind: as a central gathering space formed by two rows of Mulberry Trees with stone benches and streetlights lining the pedestrian pathway to this monument. The objective of this structure was to be a cube of steps at the end of the square, marking a moment of relief in Milan’s street system.
(initial sketch by Aldo Rossi)
Thoughts: The monument serves more as a conclusion to the street than a memorial/ a site for remembering. I would equate it to having a building named after someone- an acknowledgment but not an evocative summary of the person/their accomplishments. I think it is hard to honor a person without either replicating their image (like the classic horseman statue) or writing about them in a plaque or text that reveals a part of their legacy. Aldo Rossi as an architect was interested in how the city itself is a memorial, a text that writes itself over time. I think this monument succeeds as a sort of punctuation mark in Rossi’s poetry- it not only brings life to that street corner but employs stylistic elements typical of Rossi’s other designs (the articulated triangular fountain, the perfect square dimensions, etc.) This goes to show how it is more of a monument to the city as a whole, and to Rossi himself..