Heiner Thofern: Beautiful Games

Roman Entrances



ISBN: 9783969990605 Category:


This book explores a uniquely Roman type of building, the palazzina -a four- or five-story residential structure of the most meticulous design, built during the Italian economic miracle between the 1950s and ’70s. Beautiful Games focuses on the extraordinarily imaginative entrances of these buildings.

Over many years, Heiner Thofern photographed palazzine during his evening wanderings throughout the north and west districts of Rome. It was the intricately conceived and constructed entrances, realized mostly through collaborations between architects and artists, that particularly caught his eye. Beautiful Games reveals the varied treasures of Thofern’s photographic archive, a rich collection that allows us to examine the particular sense of play and passion for beauty that shapes this era of Italian creativity, a delight in la bella figura, and a desire to constantly reinvent the possibilities of design and architecture.

The highly typological and formal quality of many Roman palazzine is due precisely to the establishment of a fruitful conversation between art and architecture, especially in the atriums, which are occasionally new and surprising and always elegant and light. It is a heritage just waiting to be discovered… – Elisabetta Cristallini

Additional information

Weight 508 g
Dimensions 19.1 x 23 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 5 September 2023
Number of pages 119
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Ute Eskildsen, Text by Elisabetta Cristallini and Heiner Thofern
Dimensions 19.1 x 23 cm
Weight 508 g


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Born in Bielefeld in 1959, Heiner Thofern was Deputy German Ambassador to the United Nations in Rome between 2015 and 2021. Already as a doctoral law student, Thofern cultivated a passion for architecture and town planning. His interests lie in the architecture following the Second World War, particularly that of Italy.