Created in 1965 in Rome as the brainchild of six students at the University of Architecture in Rome, the Gruppo Metamorph dedicated itself from the outset to a total re-shaping of urban planning. With Un pattern metamorfico per la città (1965), the first project from which the group’s conceptual strategies would then be developed, Metamorph developed the idea of “metamorphism” which, in opposition to all zoning strictly distributing functions, refused to place man in a fixed system, and, on the contrary, advocated a mixture of functions and the transformation of the territory. The work of Metamorph was based on an analytical approach to geometry, on the dynamic dovetailing of volumes, and on a kind of fascination with machines. The principles applied during the early years of their collaboration (polycentric and integrative urban systems), which culminated in1971 with the publication of a manifesto, Metamorph, dimensione di architettura, underpinned the many urbanistic projects which the group has developed right up to the present day. Metamorph split in 1974, and was then reduced to three members, Giorgi, Muntoni and Pazzaglini. With Un Liceo Scientifico e sezione per geometri in Pisa (1972) and La Scuola maternal e asilo nido a S. Margherita belice (1975), they introduced into their language the concepts of crisis, contradiction and complexity. The extension of the Neuropsychiatric Institute for Children at La Sapienza University in Rome (1980-1995), The Re-development of Piazza Augusto Imperatore (2001) and the Città Geografica project presented at the 2000 Venice Biennale (Less Aesthetics More Ethics), expressed the appropriation of the relations existing between context, history and innovation. The issue of sustainable development, dealt with in the group’s first projects, was backed up with The New German Parliament in Berlin (1992), the Centro congressi Italia all’EUR in Rome (1998) and the reorganization of the San Lorenzo neighbourhood in Rome (2000).
Since 1974, the Gruppo Metamorph has been made up of Gabriele de Giorgi (1937), Alessandra Muntoni (1940) and Marcello Pazzaglini (1940). They all graduated from the University of Architecture in Rome, and subsequently became very active within that university, as lecturers, assistants and professors. From 1971 on, the group published several books, and, in 1985, founded the international review Metamorfosi, Quaderni di architettura. The group’s numerous projects have been published in specialized magazines, and a summary of their works was presented in a book published in 2003 titled Metamorph-architecture/Works and Projects 1965-2003.