This is a rather poor photo of the Palace of Justice in Savona, Italy designed by Leonardo and Maria Dallerba Ricci. A single photo really does not do justice to the context and form of this building, sitting between the mountains and the sea along the old railroad sidings in the city. It is a really magnificent building, both grand and monumental, but engaged on the street with a large plaza and multiple entries. I am a bit prejudiced because Leo and Pucci (Maria Dallerba Ricci) were instructors of mine at Kentucky and in Venice, and I first visited this building with them as it was nearing completion.
The expressive, structural determinism of the building is bold and sophisticated, and the building professes a profound humanism that permeates all of their work. Although the building does not take any of its formal clues from the surrounding buildings, it is still clearly a site-specific work, working on the larger “site” of the city, the mountains and the sea. Though Leo and Pucci might disagree, it is a work that stands between a kind of placelessness of international modernism and more parochial critical regionalism.
Photograph by Mark Gerwing