Alberto Ponis, born 1933 in Genoa, was educated at Florence University, where he qualified as an architect in 1960. He worked in London with Erno Goldfinger and Denys Lasdun in 1960-64, under the strong – and lasting – influence of the movements of modernism and new brutalism then dominant in British architecture. He established his studio in 1964 in Palau on the island of Sardinia.
Ponis has studied the natural conditions and social history of Sardinia and has also done extensive research on the ‘stazzo’, Sardinia’s typical rural building type. On this thorough knowledge of conditions, traditions and requirements, an oeuvre of more than 300 residential buildings is founded. Each house is deeply rooted in its environment and connected with the land and other dwellings by the ‘sentiero’, the path leading to and from it. They show a natural modesty and simplicity and express the architect’s great formal skills and sensitivity.
The Inhabited Pathway is the first comprehensive monograph on this highly interesting and original architect. Lavishly illustrated, it documents his life and work and presents in detail eight selected buildings between 1965-98 that make traceable the evolution of Ponis’s work and philosophy.
Alberto Ponis was born in Genoa in 1933 and studied at Florence University, where he qualified as an architect in 1960. In the early 1960s he worked in London with Erno Goldfinger and Denys Lasdun, where he came under the strong—and lasting—influence of the then-dominant modernist and brutalist movements. In 1964, he established his own studio, Ponis, on the island of Sardinia, and in the half-century since then he has built a remarkable number of private and public buildings.
This beautifully produced volume is the first comprehensive monograph on this highly interesting and original yet little-known architect. It documents his biography, education, and training, then delves into his extensive research on Sardinia—which focused in particular on the typical housing types of the island’s rural areas. Detailed examinations of eight selected buildings created between 1965 and 1998 enable us to trace the evolution of Ponis’s work and philosophy, while a concluding essay offers thoughts on the essence of his architecture.
> Sebastiano Brandolini, born 1959, graduated from the Architectural Association in London in 1982. He runs his architectural studio in Milan and teaches landscape architecture at ETH Zurich. He has been editor of the Italian architectural magazine/journal Casabella 1984-95 and still regularly publishes books and articles for journals and magazines.
> Miora Mugur-Schaechter, (Prafece by) is an internationally renowned physicist, mathematician, and epistemologist, living and working in Paris.
> Alberto Ponis, (Essays by) born 1933, graduated in architecture from University of Florence in 1960. After working in London with Ernö Goldfinger and Denys Lasdun 1960–64 he established his own studio in Palau (Sardinia) and Genoa in 1964.
> Jonathan Sergison , (Essays by) graduated from the Architectural Association in London 1989 and gained professional experience working for David Chipperfield and Tony Fretton before establishing Sergison Bates architects in 1996. He is also a professor of Architectural Design at the Academy of Architecture (Università della Svizzera intaliana) in Mendrisio, Switzerland.