Luigi Moretti

About Luigi Moretti

Luigi MorettiLuigi Walter Moretti (2 January 1907 – 14 July 1973) was an Italian architect.

He was born in via Napoleone III, on the Esquiline Hill, in the same apartment where he lived almost his entire life. He was the natural son of the architect Luigi Rolland, whose most important work is the cinema-theater Adriano, and Maria Giuseppina Moretti. He attended primary and secondary school at San Giuseppe De Merode boarding school and from 1925 he studied at the Royal School of Architecture in Rome. In 1929, Moretti graduated with honors, with a project for a college of higher education Rocca di Papa, where he won the Giuseppe Valadier award.

After degree, in 1931 he won a three year scholarship for Roman Studies, established by the Governorate of Rome and the Royal School of Architecture. With this grant he worked with Corrado Ricci, in the arrangement of the areas east and north of Trajan’s Market. In these years he also worked as assistant for the professorships of Vincenzo Fasolo (architect of Mamiani Lyceum and Duca d’Aosta Bridge, both in Rome) and Gustavo Giovannoni, at the restoration chair.

In 1932, Moretti entered in competitions for the town planning of Verona, Perugia, and Faenza, for which he obtained the second place. He also entered in a competition for a council house complex in Naples.

The next year, after ending the university career, with Giulio Pediconi, Mario Paniconi e Mario Tufaroli, attended at the fifth Triennale di Milano with a project for a country house designed for a scholar. In this year he also met Renato Ricci, at that time president of the Opera Nazionale Balilla, that, the following year, appointed Moretti ONB technical director, succeeding to Enrico Del Debbio. In this role Moretti designed some of the youth centres of Opera Nazional Balilla and Gioventù Italiana del Littorio: in 1933 in Piacenza and in Rome, Trastevere, in 1934 in Trecate, in 1935 a women centre in Piacenza and in 1937 another youth centre in Urbino.

In 1937 he took over, the design of the regulatory plan of the Foro Mussolini (renamed Foro Italico after the war), where he created some of his masterpieces, such as the Academy of fencing and the Duce’s Gym (both 1936) and the commemoration cell (of 1940).

His are also the major planner of the Forum, enriched in the 1937 with the square of the Empire and the Stadium of Cypresses (expanded in 1953 and 1990 of other architects to become the Stadio Olimpico).

Moretti’s works were published in the journal Architecture.

In those years he participated in the competition for the construction of the Palazzo Littorio, a project harshly criticized by the magazine Casabella and progressive Italian architectural culture in general.

In 1938 he participated in the design of the E42, or EUR, Esposizione Universale Romana (standing for Rome World’s fair) and won (with Fariello, Muratori and Quaroni) the competition for the design of the Imperial Square (now square Guglielmo Marconi). The large building fronting the square was never realized, but in the postwar structures already executed were used for the “skyscraper Italy” by Luigi Mattioni.

He served in that period, in private practice, thanks mainly to his friendships with members of the Fascism and journalists.

In the period between 1942 and 1945 Moretti disappeared from public view, to reappear in 1945, when arrested for his collaboration with fascism, was briefly imprisoned in the prison of San Victor, where he met count Adolfo Fossataro. After release, with him in November of the same year, founded Cofimprese company.