Away from the norm. Giovanni Klaus Koenig, Florentine architect (1924-1989)

23 April 2022

Meeting with Giuseppina Carla Romby, and Cristina Tonelli, exhibition, and architectural walk

Away from the norm. Giovanni Klaus Koenig, Florentine architect (1924-1989)

Thursday, 28 April 2022, 4:30 pm (Archives and Historical Collection Room)


Simonetta Pagnini- director of the Library of Architecture, UNIFI, Greetings

Cristina Tonelli - professor of History of Industrial Design, POLIMI, presents the book Giovanni Klaus Koenig un fiorentino nel dibattito nazionale su architettura e design (1924-1989), Florence, Firenze University Press, 2020

Fortunato Faga- head of the Architects' Archives of the Library of Architecture, UNIFI, The Koenig collection of the Architecture Library

Giuseppina Carla Romby- professor of History of Architecture, UNIFI, Alien architectures along the Mugnone

*To participate in person at the meeting booking and Green Pass are required. Write to

Showing Giovanni Klaus Koenig. Watercolours, plans, manuscripts from the Koenig Collection of the Architecture Library

 28 April - 27 May 2022 (Archispazio room, open from Monday to Friday 9 am -6:30 pm)

The exhibition displays the watercolours for the competition for the Vespucci Bridge in Florence (1952-1953), the designs for the Hollywood house (1952-1953) of Fausto Mario Ricci and the Waldensian Church of Praly in Turin (1959), as well as the manuscript Linguistic Analysis of the Work of Frank Lloyd Wright (1965).

Walking along the Mugnone in search of alien architecture

with Giuseppina Carla Romby and Cristina Tonelli

To complete the meeting of Thursday, 28 April we propose an itinerary in a neighbourhood of Florence delimited in one direction by the Parterre and the Fortezza and in the other by the Railway and Viale Lavagnini. Here, along the banks of the Mugnone that crosses it, eclectic residences alternate with "alien" presences. One of these glided there in 1967 designed by Giovanni Klaus Koenig and Claudio Messina.

Detailed itinerary Via Micheli corner Via Lamarmora: Evangelical Waldensian Church - Via Leone X: Russian Orthodox Church of the Nativity of Christ - Viale Milton: Palazzo dei Pittori, the little villas in eclectic style along the banks of the Mugnone - Via Vanini corner Via XX Settembre: condominium.

Monday, 2 May 2022 (meeting at 4:00 pm in Via Micheli 2, Palazzo San Clemente)

Wednesday, 11 May 2022 (meeting at 4:00 pm in Via Micheli 2, Palazzo San Clemente)

To participate, reservations are required and can be made during the meeting Away from the norm on 28 April or starting from 29 April by writing to

The initiatives are organized within the cycle of meetings The Archistorie of the Library The Archhistories are born as a tie and recognition to Luca De Silva's teaching and activity and they want to represent its ideal continuation.

Giovanni Klaus Koenig was a one-of-a-kind Florentine intellectual. He has worked as an architect, designing

Koening at work

with a serious approach, shunning glory and recognition; he has worked as an industrial designer collaborating with large public transport companies, in a period when the contributions of external designers, although important, were underestimated; he has been an incisive critic of contemporary architecture, a historian of industrial design, a deep scholar of trains and streetcars. His research is testified by books, essays, and articles published in the most important magazines of the Italian panorama. As if that were not enough, he was a professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Florence for almost forty years, one of the most popular among students, who returned even after years to attend lectures for the sheer pleasure of attending the clear, passionate, biting readings of products and pieces of architecture. Beloved as much as feared for his judgment that eluded every principle of opportunism, he knew how to be irreverent, stimulating, censor if necessary, in a strong ethical vision of the conduct and task of the designer, the same that he imposed on his actions. With the same vision, he worked actively for his city, Florence, suggesting concrete solutions to its many problems and especially warning about the risks of questionable choices.

Press release (Italian) | poster | bibliography



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