Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

Gregotti, one of the world's greatest architectural references has left us

Vittorio Gregotti left us on 15 March 2020. With his work, the 92-year-old Italian architect leaves a legacy in the history of architecture that is incomparable. Among the most important projects made by the Gregotti Associati International, founded in 1974, are the development plan of the Bicocca district in Milan (1985-2005), Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon (1988-1993), the Marassi stadium in Genoa, the Teatro degli Arcimboldi (2001) in Milan and the Aix-en-Provence Lyric Theatre (2003-2007). In 1975, he was curator of the Venice Biennale, the first one in which architecture was officially introduced as an extension of the visual arts. Gregotti thus became the central figure for today's most important Biennale to establish architecture as one of the primary disciplines of its programme. His most recent project was the renovation of the former factory that was transformed into the Leopolda Foundry Theatre in Follonica (Grosseto, Italy).

We recall that in 2007, at the 1st edition of the international forum we organized, he was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award Millennium bcp, for being one of the greatest references in European architecture. An international award in which a work by the artist Pedro Cabrita Reis was given by the hands of the President of the Portuguese Republic Professor Aníbal Cavaco Silva. At this ceremony, the president of Triennale, José Mateus, highlighted the sense of distinction inscribed in this award, recalling the controversial nature of the CCB building and how it became an undeniable part of the Portuguese capital's heritage. Yesterday, with great regret, he reminded the architect of this:

Gregotti has always been and will always be an inspiring example to us all for his passion and deep dedication to architecture. His dedication was always wide, with a critical eye to all the dimensions of being an architect, as a teacher, designer, writer, director of reference magazines. Through his unique work, he influenced the thought of architecture, where he played a crucial role in the dissemination and recognition of Portuguese architecture. For all this, we have an enormous sense of gratitude and debt to Gregotti. 

Still as a recognition, Álvaro Siza, patron of the award and member of the Triennale's advisory board, highlighted Gregotti's important theoretical contribution present in his many texts and articles on architecture, definitely consolidated during the period he directed the Casabella magazine and also in one of his reference publications, The Territory of Architecture. He also mentioned that he was a member of "the brilliant generation of Italian architects who began professional practice in the 1950s". Manuel Salgado, as a Portuguese partner of the CCB, also recalled the intense development of this project and "the unforgettable lesson" that he recalls from his close contact with Vittorio Gregotti. "Working with Gregotti is learning architecture. He teaches not only how to do, but also how to think and read the city".

In 2007, Vittorio Gregotti thanked the distinction of the Triennale award and the recognition for, in his own words, "one of my best projects and the one I love the most" referring to the Centro Cultural de Belém that in 2019, on the occasion of the celebration of his 25th birthday, presented a retrospective exhibition of the work of the Italian architect that was on display between 13 November and 27 January 2019. In 2020, it is we who thank him, remembering his work, contribution and role in the history of the discipline to which he dedicated his life. Absolutely irreplaceable.