THE IMPORTANCE OF “THE CONTINUITY OF HISTORY”: Ignazio Gardella’s Monument to the Victims of the Partisan Struggle and the Victims of Piazza Loggia

“The continuity of history” appears in the project report written by Ignazio Gardella for the monument built in 1984 at the Vantiniano cemetery in Brescia. The Vantiniano stands out as the first monumental cemetery in Italy (1815). The architectural layout, the relationship it establishes with the city and the unified composition of the project by Rodolfo Vantini will constitute a model for many 19th-century Italian cemeteries, such as the one designed by G. Barbieri in Verona (1829). The paper traces the research in progress about the Vantiniano site from the historical-architectural and symbolic point of view, focusing on Gardella’s Monument to the Fallen of the Partisan Struggle and the Victims of Piazza Loggia, and introducing a study of its architectural features and symbolic aspects. We propose to consider the cemetery not as a set of buildings and monuments placed within a perimeter (the city of memory separated from the city of the living people) but as a spatial system which must have a relationship with the city. This relationship is applied in Gardella’s project. The analysis and the survey of the monument demonstrate this link and highlight this architecture as a “continuity of history” symbol. Gardella’s monument embodies the theme of the external envelope and the relationship with the context. Its geometry and the brick façades give a modern touch to the cemetery and create an intense dialogue with the roughness of the brick walls of neighboring industrial sites.