This paper will focus on the Scuola di Matematica of the Città Universitaria in Rome (1934), analysing its genesis and its models. In this case several classical models, such as the ancient theatre and the Renaissance palazzo, are used to create one of the most functional building of the Città Universitaria. The use of these models is evident in every detail, from structure to furniture. Here Ponri's taste for innovative structures, which later will bring Ponti to join forces with Pier Luigi Nervi for the Pirelli skyscraper, is flanked by the architect's interest for recent European research in the fields of construction, distribution, function, materials, as well as by his love for ornamentation. The Scuola di Matematica, studied in the context of the entire Città Universitaria and Ponti's works, demonstrates very appropriately how these historical models were indissolubly linked with modern and functional results, thereby illuminating the particular positions of Italian Modernism in the 1930's and the personal research of Gio Ponti.
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