Under Threat: Villa dei Direttori
by Renzo Zavanella, Mantua, Italy, 1931-1939
The "Villa dei Direttori" ("House of the Directors"), designed by the architect Renzo Zavanella, located in Mantua, is one of the best examples of the Italian "Nautical Rationalism". This house, designed and built between 1931 and 1939 to accomodate the families of the two directors of a large sugar refinery, is now in a severe state of neglect that is likely to become irreversible in the short time. The building is a clear example of the architectural language that featured significantly the beginnings of the Italian Rationalism. The free organization of the openings and the dynamic composition of the exterior reminds, on one hand, the "Cubism" of Robert Mallet-Stevens and, on the other hand, the "Novocomum" of Giuseppe Terragni, apart from the experiments carried out in Weissenhof Estate, in Stuttgart.
The location of the Villa, in a paradigmatic example of abandoned industrial area (the former sugar refinery), and therefore subject to a long and bureaucratic process, becomes an additional element that encumbers its management. It is urgent to take protective measures and to recognize the importance of this building in its cultural context of the beginning of the 20th century.
More details: website (Italian).