Florence is aimed at showing how one of the Italian cities most strongly linked with its past, the quintessential symbol of the Renaissance period, conceals a myriad of innovative architecture. Florence is not a static city. It has often been guilty of long delays and a certain lack of courage in assimilating new approaches, but its way of introducing contemporary architecture into a consolidated context, is unique. Changes with great impact began in Florence at the end of the 19th century with the urban planning transformations designed by Giuseppe Poggi. The strongly defined limits of the historic centre became blurred with the demolition of the fortifications and the city was opened up to permit expansion. In the 1930s, the Rationalist design of the Santa Maria Novella Station introduced a new form of architectural expression into the historic centre and outskirts of the city. This is the building that begins the itinerary proposed in this guide; a chronological, but also a physical beginning: a starting point for visitors to begin their architectural excursion.
Laura Andreini is Associate Professor of Architectural and Urban Composition at the Architectural Faculty of Florence University. In addition to her design and teaching career, Laura Andreini is renowned for her research and critical studies. She is a member of several architectural magazine editorial boards, has published numerous articles and critiques, and has been guest speaker at a large number of conferences and conventions.