The Last Grand Tour
Contemporary Phenomena and Strategies of Living in Italy
For much of the 16th to early 19th centuries, the Grand Tour of Italy was an important part of European aristocrats’ education. Emulating this tradition, this book takes a close look at today’s Italy, with a focus on the topic of housing as a gauge of political and socioeconomic interrelationships
- May 2023 approx. CHF 49.00 | eur 48.00
1st edition, 2023
approx. 500 pages, 205 color illustrations
23.5 x 32.2 cm
In cooperation with the Research Unit of Housing and Design at TU Wien
Since antiquity, Italy has been the origin of key themes of Western architecture and culture, many of which have evolved in exemplary and universally valid ways. Many of these continue to provide an inspiring frame of reference even today. Emulating the tradition and itinerary of the classic Grand Tour followed by European aristocrats, this comprehensive and visually appealing book takes a nuanced look at Italy today. Using the aspect of housing as a hub, it offers new narratives and positions on current issues and developments that are also highly relevant outside Italy.
In the format of a graphic and textual atlas, the volume explores Italy at various scales. Zooming in and out of themes, cities, and regions, it allows for associative and nonlinear comprehension and reflection. Housing is examined as a complex construct, acted upon by diverging interests and needs as well as historical legacies. The spatial aspect of living, with its huge impact on the limited resources of land and the landscape, is the starting point for the proposals and strategies the book offers. Its audience reaches beyond the professional architecture community, aiming at anyone with an interest in the much-debated topic of (affordable) housing or in 21st-century Italy.
Michael Obrist is an architect and cofounder of the Vienna-based firm feld72 architekten, and a Professor of Housing and Design at TU Wien’s Faculty of Architecture and Planning.
Antonietta Putzu is an architect who works as a research assistant in the Research Unit Housing and Design at TU Wien’s Faculty of Architecture and Planning.