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