Starting from the (sad) reality

Enrico Prandi

An architecture magazine has to deal with disciplinary issues also starting from the contingent reality. In this period, deeply marked by the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, it seemed right after the substantial double number of a call that attracted over one hundred and fifty scholars around the world N. 52-53 (2020): Coronavirus City Architecture. Architectural and Urban Project Perspectives, released in November 2020, get back to doing something.
About two years ago, when the pandemic began, everyone was struck by the image of the army's military vehicles loaded with coffins parading through the streets of Bergamo on their way to the crematorium.
Faced with a very high number of deaths, and unable to provide for normal burials, the coffins were stacked in the available spaces awaiting cremation induced by sanitation reasons.
That photograph, like other well-known ones from a very painful past, in addition to bearing witness to a serious problem in progress, symbolized the cancellation of the ritual of death and the impossibility of taking care of our loved ones.
Other images had gone around the world like that of the dead on the side of the roads and left and burned to avoid contagion in Ecuador and China rather than the mass graves of Brazil.
From a private family rite it was transformed into a collective rite.
This issue, edited by Renato Capozzi and Claudia Pirina, arises from that reflection and from sharing the theme with the editorial staff. Starting from the initial point, it is interesting to emphasize (and remember) that architecture is inherent in death and the rituality connected with it no less than many other central spaces in the life of the individual.
Since his death is the culmination and the end of the journey, it deserves particular attention. Ignazio Gardella recalled how the entire human journey takes place in contact with architecture. He said: «one is born in an architecture, one lives in architecture and one dies in an architecture». To the latest architecture of the journey of the man, FAM (confidentially renamed for the occasion "Funerary FAM" in analogy to the famous monographic issue of "Lotus International", 38, 1983 entitled "Funerary Lotus"), the magazine wanted to give space to this issue is as important as it is too often forgotten.