OLIVETTI BUILDS. “Skira Architecture Library“, P
The Olivetti company is known chiefly in the United States as a manufacturer of...
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The Olivetti company is known chiefly in the United States as a manufacturer of typewriters and calculators that has grown into one of the leading European telecommunications companies. What is less well known is how progressive the company was as a sponsor of modern architecture and urban planning in postwar Italy. Starting in the 1930s, Adriano Olivetti, the son of the founder, became a kind of modern day Medici of modern architecture and urban planning, relocating the company to Ivrea, outside Turin and embarking on an ambitious program of carefully planned development. These efforts attracted the top architects in Italy and created a unique relationship between a company and the architectural firms that worked for it, producing what is today a virtual open air architecture and urban planning museum in the town of Ivrea. This volume chronicles, through photographs, sketches, plans and archival documents, the development of this unique relationship between commerce, community and architecture that is one of the finest examples of planned development in the twentieth century.