Gianni Pettena

Grass Architecture, 1971

In 1971, Gianni Pettena took part in the “Trigon” competition in Graz (Austria) entering a series of fifteen proposals, among which Imprisonment and Architectural Project #2 (proposal n° 7) and Grass Architecture I and II (Proposal n° 14), which won first prize. These visionary projects questioned the temporal dimension of architecture as well as its relationship with nature. They extended and completed the in situ interventions the Italian architect had done during this period in his effort to develop a method for physically reading the territory.

In Grass Architecture, rises in the ground give shape to a perishable form of architecture. Here, it is built from within, like an ocean breaker and it has become an integral part of the territory. The fault lines in the material generate architecture that is “subconsciously” subjected to gradual geological and cultural shifting. Just a few years after Architecture Principe’s Oblique Function, Pettena imagined his own continuity with the ground, exploring parallel paths of mobility that focus on the physical dimension of architecture.

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