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Paolo Portoghesi in conversation William Menking and Aaron Levy


Wednesday, April 20, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)

Philadelphia, United States

Paolo Portoghesi in conversation William Menking and Aaron L...

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MORE AND MORE - 2011 Spring Lecture Series

Paolo Portoghesi

PennDesign and Slought Foundation are pleased to announce a rare appearance by celebrated Italian architect Paolo Portoghesi, in conversation with William Menking and Aaron Levy, on Wednesday, April 20, 2010 from 6:00-8:00pm in the lower gallery of Meyerson Hall.

Portoghesi directed what is considered to be the Venice Biennale's 1st International Architecture Exhibition. His Strada Novissima, the main exhibition of twenty façades set up at the Corderie dell'Arsenale, ushered in some of the best known architects today, including Frank O. Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Arata Isozaki, Robert Venturi, Franco Purini, Ricardo Bofil, Christian de Portzamparc. The work opened a very lively debate on Postmodernism, becoming a symbol of the movement itself.

Portoghesi is perhaps best known for his striking mosque in Rome, Italy, built 1974/75 in the north end of the city, near Acqua Acetosa, at the behest of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. It is said that the building strikes a balance between modernism, Roman forms, and the traditions of mosque architecture. He continues to practice: the first stone of his Strasbourg Mosque, converted from a foie gras factory in the center of the city, was laid in 2004.

The event continues a public conversation building upon Architecture on Display, a research initiative organized by William Menking, Editor-in-chief of The Architect's Newspaper, and Aaron Levy, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Slought Foundation, who co-curated the United States Pavilion at the 2008 Venice Biennale. In the resulting London AA publication, Levy and Menking interview each of the living directors of the Venice Biennale for Architecture, including Vittorio Gregotti, Francesco Dal Co, Kurt Foster, and Kazuyo Sejima, among others.

Levy and Menking argue that the forgotten history of the Biennale offers an incipient understanding of the complex relationship between architectures of use and architectures of display. The conversants will discuss public expectations for spectacular graphic and visual display, how architecture's image of itself has changed over time, and how attempts to fuse eastern and western sensibilities enable a larger cultural dialogue. These conflicts and tensions serve as the framework for this public event as well as the larger series of conversations that comprise Architecture on Display.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

The Architect's Newspaper, New York

The Architect's Newspaper, New York

Have questions about Paolo Portoghesi in conversation William Menking and Aaron Levy? Contact PennDesign

When & Where

School of Design, University of Pennsylvania
210 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, 19104

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)

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PennDesign is an inventive place of learning where the many fields of architecture, planning, preservation, landscape and the fine arts come together on shared ground. At PennDesign, we are dedicated to design that is creative in nature and transformative in impact. In a collaborative environment that fosters inquiry and experimentation, faculty and students seek to recast the distinction between theory and practice, expand knowledge and invention through research, and contribute works of value and beauty.

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