This project by Aldo Loris Rossi has become a symbol of the current renewed appreciation for Brutalist architecture. The building has been partially abandoned, however. In the port of Naples, surrounded by cranes, shipping containers and railway lines, it is used in connection with the port’s industrial and logistic activities. Although some offices are still in use, a large part of the activity has been moved to other areas of the port.
The architecture critic Bruno Zevi described this building as “a pioneering, spectacular, subversive object, which seems to claim an environmental redemption”. Rossi’s architecture has always been difficult to fit into the official rhetoric of modern architecture. His futuristic and unclassified designs contain references to late work by Frank Lloyd Wright, German Expressionism and Italian Futurism.
The building is formed by a base, used as a car park; from there, a tall, fragmented centrifugal volume emerges at one end. Its function, apart from hosting a varied program, is to provide a high point for observing activity in the port.