October 21st, 2007
A vintage postcard found in a flea market in Preston. It shows the pavilion of 1938 designed by Morpurgo to house the Ara Pacis. This building was recently replaced by a controversial new building designed by Richard Meier discussed in this post.
You can read the story of the discovery of the Ara Pacis and its subsequent housing at the Museo dell’Ara Pacis website. Extract:
Morpurgo, the pavilion’s designer, never came to terms with the ways in which the design had been simplified: cement and fake porphyry were used instead of travertine and precious marble, while the rhythm and course of the pilasters, both on the sides and the façade, had been changed. Behind these compromises was an unwritten agreement between the architect and the Governorship, to build only on a provisional basis and to return the building gradually to its original design after the inauguration. However the sums of money required, the uncertainty of the time-scale and the war hanging over the entire project, meant that this was never accomplished.