Fascist architecture

Fascist architecture is a style of architecture developed by architects of fascist societies in the early 20th century. The style gained popularity in the late 1920s with the rise of modernism along with the nationalism associated with fascist governments in western Europe. The style resembles that of ancient Rome. However, the fascist-era buildings lack ostentatious design, and were constructed with symmetry and simplicity. Both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler utilized the new style of architecture as one of many attempts to unify the citizens of their nations, mark a new era of nationalist culture, and exhibit the absolute rule of the nation.[1] Today, new fascist architecture is scarce because of the Axis powers' defeat in World War II, as the fascist political ideology quickly went into decline.

Olympische Spelen te Rome, sintelbaan in het Stadio dei Marmi, Bestanddeelnr 911-5253
Stadio dei Marmi with Palace of the Italian Olympic Committee in the background, Rome.
CSIC 1939
The CSIC honouring Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War, in Madrid, Spain.


The fascist style of architecture reflects the values of Fascism as a political ideology that developed in the early 20th century after World War I. The philosophy is defined by a strong nationalist people governed by a totalitarian government. The vision of a strong, unified, and economically stable nation seemed appealing to western Europe after the physical and economic destruction after World War I, which contributed to the rise of fascism and corporatism.

Italian and German fascism

Fascist architecture became popular under Benito Mussolini's rule of Italy from 1922 to 1943. Within this period he transformed the Italian executive role from that of a prime minister to a dictatorship. A few years after his taking of office he was referred to as Il Duce (the leader). When Mussolini took office, he took on the role of bringing about fascism and idealism to replace democracy in Italy. He utilized all forms of media along with architectural identity. The new modernist style of architecture was one way to help build his vision of a unified fascist Italy. When Mussolini called for a fascist style of architecture, architects used the style to imitate that of imperial Rome and to bring historical pride and a sense of nationalism to the Italian people. Fascist architecture was one of many ways for Mussolini to invigorate a cultural rebirth in Italy and to mark a new era of Italian culture under fascism.[2][3][4][5]

Similarly, once Hitler came to power in 1933 and transformed the German Chancellory to a dictatorship, he used fascist architecture as one of many tools to help unify and nationalize Germany under his rule. Hitler had plans to rebuild Berlin after the axis powers won World War II under the name Germania, or Welthauptstadt Germania. Hitler had his favorite architect, Albert Speer, design this new metropolis using fascist architecture design.[6]


Fascist-styled architecture is a branch of modernist architecture which became popular in the early 20th century. The fascist style was also greatly influenced by the rationalist movement in Italy in the 1920s. Rationalist architecture, with the help of Italian government support, celebrated the new fascist age of culture and government in Italy.[7]

In Nazi Germany, the extremely large and spacious Fascist architecture was one way envisioned by Hitler to unify Germany for what he described as "mass experiences", in which thousands of citizens could gather and take part in the patriotism of community events, and listen to speeches made by Hitler and other Nazi party leaders.

The fascist style of architecture was similar to the ancient Roman style in that Fascist buildings were generally very large and symmetric with sharp non-rounded edges. The buildings purposefully conveyed a sense of awe and intimidation through their size, and were made of limestone and other durable stones in order to last the entirety of the fascist era. The buildings were also very plain, with little or no decoration, and lacked any complexity in design. These generalities of fascist architecture contributed to the simple aesthetics the edifices display. All these aspects helped the fascist dictatorships exhibit absolute and total rule of the population. Hitler and Mussolini used fascist architecture as another source of propaganda to display to the world the strength, pride and power their regimes had.[8]


The most prominent Italian and German fascist architects of the era were Giuseppe Terragni, Marcello Piacentini and Albert Speer.

Arnaldo Dell'Ira (1903-1943) Casa della Parola, 1940

Casa della Parola (House of the Word), Arnaldo dell'Ira, 1940.


A few of the notable fascist architecture projects of the 20th century include

See also


  1. ^ "The Fascinating World of Fascist Architecture". Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  2. ^ "Fascist Architecture in Italy". Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  3. ^ Mathews, Jeff. "The Architecture of Fascism in Naples". Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  4. ^ Payne, Stanley. "Italian Fascism". Archived from the original on 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  5. ^ Mathews, Jeff. "The Architecture of Fascism in Naples". Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  6. ^ "Welthauptstadt Germania". Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  7. ^ Ghirardo, Diane (May 1980). "Italian Architects and Fascist Politics: An Evaluation of the Rationalist's Role in Regime Building". Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 39 (2): 109–127. JSTOR 989580.
  8. ^ "Order from Stone: Nazi Architecture". Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  9. ^ Fulvio, Irace. "Piacentini". Retrieved 2012-02-13.
  10. ^ Piperno, Roberto. "A XXth century New Rome". Retrieved 2012-02-04.

Arborea is a town and comune in the province of Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, whose economy is largely based on agriculture, with production of vegetables, rice and fruit.

Carbonia, Sardinia

Carbonia (pronounced [karˈbɔːnja] listen is a town and comune in the Province of South Sardinia, Sardinia, Italy. Along with Iglesias it was a co-capital of the former province of Carbonia-Iglesias, now suppressed. It is located in the south-west of the island, at about an hour by car or train from the regional capital, Cagliari.


Cinecittà Studios (pronounced [ˌtʃinetʃitˈta]; Italian for Cinema City Studios), is a large film studio in Rome, Italy. With an area of 400,000 square metres (99 acres), it is the largest film studio in Europe, and is considered the hub of Italian cinema. The studios were constructed during the Fascist era as part of a plan to revive the Italian film industry.Filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Mel Gibson have worked at Cinecittà. More than 3,000 movies have been filmed there, of which 90 received an Academy Award nomination and 47 of these won it. In the 1950s, the number of international productions being made there led to Rome being dubbed "Hollywood on the Tiber."

Cinema Impero

The Cinema Impero (lit. "Empire Cinema") is an Art Deco-style cinema in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. It was built in 1937 by the colonial authorities in Italian Eritrea.


The Danteum is an unbuilt monument proposed by a scholar of Dante, approved by the Benito Mussolini's Fascist government, designed by the modernist architect Giuseppe Terragni. However, in the end about all that remains now are some sketches on paper, scraps of an architectural model of the project and pieces of a project report (Relazione), written by Terragni.

The structure was meant to be built in Rome on the Via dell'Impero. The intention was to celebrate the famous Italian poet Dante, extol the virtues of a strong fascist state, that bases its foundations on the glory of imperial Rome.

The residues of the project give us the unfulfilled dream of Terragni for a monument to Dante, in which the Divine Comedy was projected in an architectural scheme.

Fiat Tagliero Building

The Fiat Tagliero Building in Asmara, capital city of Eritrea, is a Futurist-style service station completed in 1938 and designed by the Italian engineer Giuseppe Pettazzi.Conceived as a simple petrol station, Pettazzi designed a building that resembles an aeroplane incorporating a central tower with office space, cashiers desk and shop — and supporting a pair of 15m cantilevered, reinforced concrete wings. During construction, local authorities required each wing to be supported by pillars, and original plans, found in 2001, depicted the supports. Pettazzi maintained the supports were unnecessary and reportedly settled the argument by threatening to kill the contractor if the supports were not removed. In the end the supports were removed and the wings held.The building remains structurally sound and has not been damaged during numerous conflicts affecting the Horn of Africa during the twentieth century. Restored in 2003, the service station is Category I listed in Eritrea, meaning no part of the building may be altered.

Foro Italico

Foro Italico, formerly Foro Mussolini, is a sports complex in Rome, Italy. It was built between 1928 and 1938 as the Foro Mussolini (literally Mussolini's Forum) under the design of Enrico Del Debbio and, later, Luigi Moretti. Inspired by the Roman forums of the imperial age, its design is lauded as a preeminent example of Italian Fascist architecture instituted by Mussolini. The purpose of the prestigious project was to get the Olympic Games of 1940 to be organised by fascist Italy and held in Rome.

Governor's Palace, Asmara

The Governor's Palace is the city hall of Asmara, Eritrea. It was built during the colonial period in the city centre, in an Italian Art-Deco style.

Governor's Palace of Mogadishu

The Governor's Palace (Italian: Palazzo del Governatore, Mogadiscio) was the seat of the governor of Italian Somaliland, and then the administrator of the Trust Territory of Somaliland. It was built during the colonial period in the capital city of Mogadishu, situated in present-day southern Somalia. Used as municipality building of Mogadishu, it is one of the most popular government offices in Somalia. It was the first place where the Somali flag waved.

Guidonia Montecelio

Guidonia Montecelio (Italian pronunciation: [ɡwiˈdɔːnja ˌmonteˈtʃeːljo]), commonly known as Guidonia, is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome Capital, Lazio, central Italy.

Latina, Lazio

Latina (Italian pronunciation: [laˈtiːna] (listen)) is the capital of the province of Latina in the Lazio region, in central Italy. As of 2011, the city has 115,895 inhabitants and is thus the second-largest city of the region, after the national capital Rome. It was founded in 1932 under the fascist administration, as Littoria, when the area surrounding it, which had been a swamp since antiquity, was drained.

Marble Arch (Libya)

The Marble Arch, also Arch of the Philaeni (Italian: Arco dei Fileni), formerly known in Libya as El Gaus (i.e. "The Arch"), was a monument in Libya built during the days of Italian colonization. The arch marked the border between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and was located on the Via Balbia (actual Libyan Coastal Highway) near Ra's Lanuf.

Marcello Piacentini

Marcello Piacentini (December 8, 1881 – May 19, 1960) was an Italian urban theorist and one of the main proponents of Italian Fascist architecture.


Pomezia (Italian pronunciation: [poˈmɛttsja]) is a municipality (comune) in the Metropolitan City of Rome, Lazio, central Italy. In 2009 it had a population of about 60,000.


Sabaudia is a coastal town in the province of Latina, Lazio, central Italy. Sabaudia's center is characterized by several examples of Fascist architecture.

San Siro

The Giuseppe Meazza Stadium (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈzɛppe meˈattsa]), commonly known as San Siro, is a football stadium in the San Siro district of Milan, Italy, which is the home of the AC Milan and Internazionale. It has a seating capacity of 80,018, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe, and the largest in Italy.

On 3 March 1980, the stadium was named in honour of Giuseppe Meazza, the two-time World Cup winner (1934, 1938) who played for Inter and briefly for Milan in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Because of Meazza's stronger connection with Inter, the nerazzurri commonly refer to the stadium by his name rather than San Siro, which is more used by Milan fans.

The San Siro is a UEFA category four stadium. It hosted six games at the 1990 FIFA World Cup and four European Cup finals, in 1965, 1970, 2001 and 2016.


La Triennale di Milano is a design and art museum in the Parco Sempione in Milan, in Lombardy in northern Italy. It is housed in the Palazzo dell'Arte, which was designed by Giovanni Muzio and built between 1931 and 1933; construction was financed by Antonio Bernocchi and his brothers Andrea and Michele.:1948The Milan Triennial, an international exhibition of art and design, was held at the museum thirteen times between 1936 and 1996, and – after a break of twenty years – again in 2016.Since 2003 the Triennale has awarded the triennial Gold Medal for Italian Architecture (Italian: Medaglia d'oro all'architettura italiana).A permanent museum of Italian design, the Trienniale Design Museum, was opened in 2007.:51The building houses a theatre, the Teatro dell'Arte, which was also designed by Muzio.:51

Via dei Fori Imperiali

The Via dei Fori Imperiali (formerly Via dei Monti, then Via dell'Impero) is a road in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, that runs in a straight line from the Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum. Its course takes it over parts of the Forum of Trajan, Forum of Augustus and Forum of Nerva, parts of which can be seen on both sides of the road. Since the 1990s, there has been a great deal of archeological excavation on both sides of the road, as significant Imperial Roman relics remain to be found underneath it.

Via della Vittoria

The Via della Vittoria was a military road between Bardia in Italian Libya and Sidi Barrani in western Egypt.

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