the "perfect fascist city"

  • fascism, negativity and urban planning in colonial space
Master Thesis


Walking around the 1937 plans by Gherardo Bosio for the new Gondar (Ethiopia), one discovers the extent to which architecture and urban planning comes to define colonial space during the Italian fascist occupation of East Africa. The drawings, sketches, and master plans reveal the state of fascism in 1937. It is a testament to the phase of totalitarian acceleration of the regime, initiated in 1935, as the discourse around architecture and urban planning reached a boiling point. Colonial space is thus constructed both as expression of military power and architectural innovation, two elements that ultimately define the urban fabric that Bosio sketched for Gondar. Exploring the contradictions inherent in fascism through architectural language, the central thesis aims at providing a reading of architecture under fascism through a relationship of negative symbiosis between these two elements. Finally, this investigation reveals new approaches to contemporary reception of this architecture. In this work, the descriptive and analytical sections are presented as constantly alternating. This approach wants to foster an active reception of architecture and urban design, as well as signalling how materiality and thought are in continuous relation, contradiction, and displacement.

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Published By: Fedra Benoli | Universität für Angewandte Kunst Wien | Publication Date: 20 October 2023, 15:54 | Edit Date: 20 October 2023, 15:55