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Helycoidal Skyscraper & New York Crescent Project

©François Lauginie

Helycoidal Skyscraper & New York Crescent Project, 1968-1973

Manfredi Nicoletti
  • Architect (1930)

An internationally renowned Italian architect whose projects have won many awards, Manfredi Nicoletti embarked on his career in the early 1960s with urban proposals devised on the basis of mega-structural aggregations which the architect calls “artificial hills” (Ville Satellite de la Principauté de Monaco; New York Crescent Project). Nature, with her sinuous and fractal shapes, and her potential in terms of growth, movement and change, is the primary source of inspiration for his works. Repeated, coiled, suspended, inclined and fluid, the silhouettes of his buildings invariably tend towards a continuity with the surrounding space, something demonstrated as much by early projects as by later ideas such as the Acropolis Museum in Athens (1990), and the Arezzo Law Courts (2000). Combined with concepts of continuity and development was the concept of the symbol, in the 1980 and 1990s (Bibliotheca Alexandrina Library, 1989). The quest for complexity (Natural History Museum in Rouen, 1992-1993; Reconstruction of the Souks of Beirut, 1994; Cardiff Opera House, 1994) as well as eco-energetic design (Scientific Greenhouse for Tropical Butterflies, 2002) today form the essential themes of his work.

Born in Rieti, in Italy, Manfredi Nicoletti obtained his degree in architecture at Rome University with Pier Luigi Nervi, and continued his training in the United States after 1955 with R. Buckminster Fuller and Walter Gropius. He started teaching architecture and city planning in 1963 and, back in Europe, co-founded the Groupe International d’Architecture Prospective (GIAP) in 1965. Professor of architectural composition at la Sapienza University in Rome, vice-president of the International Academy of Architecture, a member of the International Academy of Architecture in Moscow, and a member of the Academy of Architecture in France, and an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, he is an expert in urban ecological matters at the Ministry of Environment in the Sicily region. He is a scientific member of the Italian Institute for Bioclimatic Architecture, has won a large number of prizes for architecture involving renewable energy, and is the author of several books on this subject.

Nadine Labedade