The Historical Archive of the City of Modena has presented an exhibition on the city’s industrial past, in an attempt to draw attention to some of the city’s most important industrial buildings which have been sadly forgotten or ignored by the general public and the planning authorities. This is the second part of a larger research project carried out by the Urban History Research Office, which has already issued a publication by the name of “The City and the Industrial Architecture. The Twentieth Century in Modena“.
La città industriale contemporanea
31 March – 1 June, 2017
Historical Archive of the City of Modena
Largo Porta Sant’Agostino, 337 Modena
The exhibition aims to bring back the image of a heritage which has sometimes been forgotten (because it is abandoned or demolished), and which in many cases need a planning intervention. Many of these buildings are still present but have failed to be recognized as a fundamental part not only of urban development but also of building the city’s identity.
This is the main idea that the curators have wished to make present through the exhibition of the different materials and sources, documents, graphics, maps, photographs, kept in the municipal archives, in particular at the Archives of the city and at the Civic Art Library L. Poletti. These contents have been integrated within the exhibition by a video contribution and special cartographies made specifically for the occasion.
The exhibition is a new achievement of the industrial research route begun since 2014 by the Urban History Office in Modena, after the publication of City and Industrial Architecture. The twentieth century in Modena (curated by the Urban History Research Office of the City of Modena and the Cassa di Risparmio Modena Foundation, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, 2015).
The previous exhibition, The City and the Industrial Architecture in the drawings of the Archives of the Historical Town Archive. The first half of the twentieth century in Modena, as the present, was conceived and promoted by the Historical Archives of the City of Modena and the Research and Documentation Office on Urban History, with the collaboration of the Institute for Artistic, Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Region Emilia-Romagna, the Consortium of Productive Activities Areas and Services and the Order of Architects of the Province of Modena.
After the first significant industrial development phases between the end of the nineteenth and the early decades of the twentieth century, Modena faced the need for structures to support the economy during the reconstruction period.
It did so through small and medium scale projects that looked to the relationship with the regional territory, as in the case of the New Livestock Market, consolidating and widening the settlements along the railway line barely after the Second World War. During the sixties, seventies and later, new areas of expansion were planned to the north and along Emilia street. Particularly along the historical axis of the town, many innovative house-factory typologies were developed, similar to artisan villages, giving way to some of the most interesting examples of industrial architecture by one of the most prolific architects: Vinicio Vecchi, as well as some important examples of factories linked to the great historical motor industry of the city to the productive activities of the area such as the Tetra Pak industry.
Project by: Franca Baldelli, director of the Historical Archive of the Municipality of Modena; Vanni Bulgarelli, cocurator of the Cities and Industrial Buildings. The Twentieth Century in Modena; Catia Mazzeri, head of Research and Documentation Office on Urban History of the City of Modena; Matteo Sintini, architectural historian, contributing volume City and industrial architecture. The twentieth century in Modena.