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Sunday, April 22, 2012

4 Law and architecture in totalitarianism: Focus on Italy, China and Germany

Can you think of other examples of law courts or buildings related to law in a totalitarian political context? Try to insert links to relevant images


  1. I’d like to start with courts:
    (the photos don’t belong to me and were found on the internet)

    This is Palermo’s “Palazzo di Giustizia”, Sicily. It was designed by Ernesto and Gaetano Rapisardi and it can be classified as a Rationalist building; works began in 1938, then due to the war, were interrupted to restart in the ‘50s.

    Even Cagliari’s “Palazzo di Giustizia”, Sardinia, seems to evoke the same resonant, monumental style typical of Fascism’s time. Designed by Domenico Dettori, it was inaugurated in 1938.

    Schools too were influenced by fascist architecture:

    Cesare Battisti’s school, in Rome, was designed by architect Brunetto. It’s main characteristics: a pyramidal structure and four big stony eagles (symbolizing the power and magnitude of Roman empire) standing there as if inspecting the pupils coming in.

  2. Hi everybody,
    my town Latina rapresent an example of city related to law in a totalitarian political contex; so the building like the palace of justice, the train station,the postal building and much more were influenced by fascist architecture...

    Overview: Latina was founded by Benito Mussolini on June 30, 1932 as Littoria, named for the fascio littorio when the area surrounding it which had been a swamp since antiquity, was drained by "Bonifica dell Agro Pontino".The city was inaugurated on December 18 of the same year. Littoria was populated with settlers coming mainly from Friuli and Veneto, who formed the so-called Venetian-Pontine community (today surviving only in some peripherical boroughs). The edifices and the monuments, mainly in rationalist style, were designed by famous architects and artists such as Marcello Piacentini, Angiolo Mazzoni and Duilio Cambellotti.
    In 1934 it became a provincial capital and, after World War II, renamed Latina in 1946

    The "PALAZZO M" is a building which reproduces the M of Musssolini

    Or also the palace of justice in wich we can see "fasci littori" inside an outside
    Regards, Benedetto Loris Gaudino

  3. HI everybody,
    I 'd like to add something to what Coco said about chinese law architecture. I think that over the buildings included in her presentation ( completely about the ancient chinese law buildings)today in China is present also a different style, more simple, more plain, more remote from the roots of the chinese style; many times these buildings are austere, majestic, supra-human, maybe in order to communicate a sense of awe and intimidation to the crowd, maybe they want to convey a feeling of rigidity and strictness. In this image I've attached below, there aren't decorations, no symbols except the small red and gold official government seal, with no windows or colours, seems to be a huge ominous wall. Perhaps this is not an amazing piece of art, but it's for sure something very symbolic for the people who see it and maybe walk trough it in order to be judged.