CourtyardTerraced slab
Lega Lombarda ICP Housing
Sabbatini, Innocenzo | Rome, Italy | 1926
Image of Lega Lomba...
View from the south

ProjectLega Lombarda ICP Housing
ArchitectSabbatini, Innocenzo
AddressVia della Lega Lombarda
Building TypeCourtyard
Terraced slab
Number of DwellingsNA
Date Built1926
Dwelling TypesNA
No. Floors8
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
Construction Typemasonry
Ancillary Servicessome shops, terraces

Innocenzo Sabbatini is a unique figure in the history of building in Rome. Trained under two of the great ecclectic architects of the first part of the century, Marcello Piacentini and Quadro Pirani, Sabbatini is a representative of the so-called "Roman School", a group of architects that produced a peculiar expressionistic, ecclectic style of building in the early 1920's. Much of Sabbatini's work was housing for the Istituto Case Populare in Rome including buildings at La Garbatella, a garden city suburb in the southern part of the city, the Trifonale quarter, north of the Vatican, and the building shown here, the ICP courtyard/terrace apartments in the Tiburtina quarter. Several unbuilt projects by Sabbatini that are important as precedents for the Lega Lombarda apartments include a repeating system of curved terraced, courtyard buildings called alberghi surburbani, designed for the ICP. Alberghi surburbani were usually grouped around a series of interior courtyards and usually stepped down on the south forming terraces on the south side of each building. The apartments on Via della Lega Lombarda are the built prototype of these earlier projects.

A wedge-shape in plan and built around an interior courtyard, the volume of the building is cut away on the south side creating the terraces and letting sun into the courtyard. The vertical elements of the building form the highest part of the courtyard elevation. An entrance rendered as a classical portal as the side give entry to the coutryard and acccess to the apartments above. While the individual dwellings are stock ICP types, the large terraces which open to the south provide an amenity uncommon in other social housing of the period. This elaborate formal gesture to incorporate private exterior space into the form and program of the ideal dwelling, places Sabbatini's design on a par with radical modernist proposals of the same time such as the terraced projects of Henri Sauvage and Le Corbusier's immeubles villas project that was exhibited in the Paris Exhibition of 1925. While Sabbatini's buildings and projects are clearly outside mainstream modernist ideology, Lega Lombarda is the built prototype of a similar concept for a larger urban building system. Lega Lombarda is unique in the history of housing in Rome, a curious blend of expressionist ideas, rationalist planning and classical details.

Irene de Guttry, Guida de Roma Moderna, De Lucca, Roma, 1978, p. 70.

Bruno Regni/Marina Sennato, Innocenzo Sabbatini; Architettura per la Cittá , Architettura Arte Moderna, Roma, 1982.

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