Adolfo Natalini (born in Pistoia, Italy, on May 10, 1941) is an influential architect who was a major contributor to the mid-twentieth century Superstudio architecture collective (1966-1978) and went on to be an active participant of radical design.
Natalini was born in Pistoia in 1941 and later studied at the University of Florence. His original pursuit was painting, however following his graduation, he joined colleagues Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, Gian Piero Frassinelli, and brothers Alessandro and Roberto Magris to established Superstudio, a remarkably impactful collective that changed the landscape for modern Italian architecture and design. Natalini’s Superstudio sought architectural novelty as it explored the potential applications of architectural approaches in the modern fields of art and design. They emphasized theory over practice: though they never actually built any of their design concepts, they did team with groups to exhibit their work to wider audiences, a prime example being their 1966 collaboration with Archizoom Associati to conjure the “Superarchitettura” show. They also catalogued their contributions in publication form. read more
When Superstudio dissolved in the later 1970s, Natalini branched out to pursue his own private practice, using the subsequent years to fully explore the radical architectural language he had already developed in a variety of new projects. Many of these were in various Italian centers, such as his design for the Centro elettrocontabile a Zola Predosa in Bologna (1979-1981) and the Teatro della Compagnia in Florence (1987); other projects, though, took him abroad. One of the elements that inspired these projects was Natalini’s navigations of old and new, as a central theme of his practice is the conversations that can arise between the interjections of new radical forms within the footprint of historic cities and classic architecture.
In the later years of the twentieth century, Natalini became a full professor at the University of Florence and was also granted honorary membership in the Bund Deutscher Architekten (Association of German Architects). In 1991, he joined Fabrizio Natalini to establish Natalini Architetti. Since that juncture, Natalini has continued to manifest innovative, radical architectural forms, including the Boscotondo residential complex in the Netherlands (2000) and modifications at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence (2009).
Last updated: January 21, 2019
For additional information on Adolfo Natalini, please visit:
“Adolfo Natalini.” Archiproducts.
“Natalini, Adolfo.” Treccani.
“Lo Studio.” Natalini Architetti.
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