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On Bramante

On Bramante

Current price: $39.95
Publication Date: May 10th, 2022
The MIT Press
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A new interpretation of the work of Bramante, suggesting an agenda for contemporary architectural practice

In On Bramante, architect Pier Paolo Tamburelli considers the work of the celebrated Italian Renaissance architect Donato Bramante and through this reappraisal suggests a possible agenda for current architectural practice. Bramante, Tamburelli argues, offers an excellent starting point to imagine a contemporary theory of space, to reflect on the relationship between architecture and politics, and to look back—with neither nostalgia nor contempt—at the tradition of Western classicism. 
Starting from a discussion of the difference in the work of Bramante in Milan (1481–1499) and Rome (1499–1514), Tamburelli highlights the peculiarities of Bramante’s architecture, especially in comparison to that of his predecessor Leon Battista Alberti and successor Andrea Palladio. This in turn opens up new possibilities for appreciating his spatial experiments, and to derive from Bramante’s abstraction and disassociation of form from function a revised theory of space for contemporary architecture. Such a theory might even advance a newfound political understanding of classicism, and a model—perhaps more valid now than ever before—for a public architecture. 


The text is bookended by a series of color photographic plates of Bramante’s works by photographer Bas Princen.


About the Author

Pier Paolo Tamburelli is an architect. One of the founding partners of baukuh and a former editor of San Rocco, he currently holds the Chair of Design Theory at the Technical University of Vienna.

Praise for On Bramante

Included in the New York Times's Best Art Books of 2022

"Is there any application today of Renaissance classicism to our glutted cities, anything the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica can teach builders of condos and duty-free concessions? Pier Paolo Tamburelli, an architect and editor of the now defunct cult magazine San Rocco, insists in this spirited treatise that Donato Bramante’s spatial innovations can propel a new practice of “architecture as public art.” Strange, sometimes flippant, as conversant with Rem Koolhaas as with Pope Leo X, this book is a rare effort to rethink our present deadlocks through historical models — and its ironic Neo-Classicism is beautifully buttressed by Bas Princen’s spare photographs of Bramante nerve centers: Milan’s Santa Maria delle Grazie, where Leonardo painted “The Last Supper,” or the cloisters of Rome’s Santa Maria della Pace."
– The New York Times

On Bramante is a dense, rich, strange, and provocative book.”
–The Architect’s Newspaper

“A major event.”
Arquitectura Viva