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Mikael Andersson, Hendrik Christian Andersen and the Age of Urbanism. Utopia and Urbanization in Rome between Tradition and Modernity

With “Il Risorgimento”, Rome changed from a closed to an open city. Through a comparative study of the formal, conceptual, and historical connections between Hendrik Christian Andersen’s Utopian city plan “World Centre of Communication” (1912-1913), the International Exhibition in Rome 1911, and Via Nazionale, Via Cavour, and Via del Tritone, the aim of my PhD project Hendrik Christian Andersen and the Age of Urbanism. Utopia and Urbanization in Rome between Tradition and Modernity (working title) is to show how this change, and thereby Rome’s role as the Capital of Italy, affected the development and design of urban utopias and visionary transformation projects. Thus, a somewhat overlooked period between tradition (Baron Haussmann and “Haussmannization”) and modernity (Le Corbusier and his Italian followers) in the history of Roman urbanism will be mapped.

The project will be presented in a monograph in which the different chapters/case studies are brought together through the life of Andersen, today a forgotten sculptor and city planner. He was born in Norway, grew up in USA, studied in Paris, and lived and worked in Rome from the end of the 19th-century until his death in 1940.

So far, parts of the work have been presented in scientific as well as more essayistic texts: ”Saklighet och subjektivitet. Museo H.C. Andersen, Rudolph Tegners Museum och Axel Ebbes konsthall” (Finskt Museum, 2016) and ”Hemma är bäst. Några tankar om Hendrik Christian Andersen och Gabriele D’Annunzio” (Tahiti, nr. 4 2016).

Mikael Andersson
PhD student
Åbo Akademi University

 

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