lunes, 30 de enero de 2017

#books #architecture | Asmara : Africa's jewel of modernity

Asmara : Africa's jewel of modernity / Stefan Boness, photographs ; Jochen Visscher, editor.
Jovis, Berlin : 2016.
95 p. : principalmente il.
Texto en inglés y alemán.
ISBN 9783868594355

Arquitectura -- Siglo XX -- Eritrea.
Urbanismo -- Eritrea.
Sbc Aprendizaje A-72.036(635) ASM*spi

The Northeastern African nation of Eritrea spent much of the early 20th century as a colony of Italy, and more recently shook off another invader, Ethiopia. Its capital city, which dates back more than 700 years, exploded into life and growth with the arrival of Italian colonists in the 1930s, and then stagnated under Ethiopian rule. The surprising result is a living museum of Italian "Nuova Architettura," where decorative smokestacks tower over street markets and portholes look out onto bicycle traffic. Futuristic, monumentalist, rationalist and cubist work is not just preserved, but dominant on the skyline. In this new reformatted edition of Asmara, photographer Stefan Boness frames private, public and industrial buildings to incorporate their sometimes jarring contemporary African surroundings. He succeeds in conveying the unique atmosphere of a city where architectural time has, in some pockets, stood still. An essay on the city complements extensive illustrations.

Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, has one of the most extensive surviving ensembles of modernist architecture in the world. To this day, the influence of the former colonial power of Italy from the early 20th century remains visible. Many of the buildings, erected in the futuristic, expressionist, cubist or rationalistic style have been preserved and dominate the cityscape of Asmara. UNESCO is considering to make the city a World Heritage Site in recognition of its outstanding modernist architecture. The impressive photographs by Stefan Boness convey the unique atmosphere of Asmara as a living museum of modernity.

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