Emotion – Order – Conflict. Theories and Practices of Juridical Center Formation in Italy
Palazzo del Tribunale, collage of architectural views and floor plan © Brigitte Sölch
6:00-8:00 pm


Emotion – Order – Conflict. Theories and Practices of Juridical Center Formation in Italy

Brigitte Sölch

In Florence, the Palazzo del Tribunale was opened in 2012, not far from the airport. It is based on plans from the 1970s and, due to its decentralized location and monumentality, is a source of heated debate. Taking this example as a starting point, my lecture examines processes of juridical center formation in Italy from a diachronic perspective. Of particular interest with regard to notions of order is, on the one hand, the urban dimension. On the other hand, there is the question of how the architecture of the judiciary is perceived and affected, as it orchestrates the encounter with such an abstract entity as the law and is related in a special way to the intended as well as real constitution of city and state. The main focus of the investigation is the city of Milan, where – also from the perspective of the longue durée – particularly lively reflections and conflicts in architectural theory, architecture (design) and urban planning since the 15th century can be seen.

Brigitte Sölch is Professor of Art and Architectural History at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg (ZEGK – Institute for European Art History). She received her PhD from the ETH Zurich and the University of Augsburg (2003) and obtained her habilitation at the Humboldt University of Berlin (2018), after serving first as a research assistant, then as a senior research scholar at the Art History Institute in Florence (Max Planck Institute). She represented the professorship of art history with a focus on architecture at the Ruhr University Bochum and held the chair of architecture and design history/architectural theory at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design. In 2019, she was a Weinberg Fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University in New York City. Her publications include “The Forum – Just an Idea? A Problem History from the Perspective of Art and Architectural History: 15th-21st Centuries.” (Habilitation thesis in preparation for print) and “Francesco Bianchini (1662-1729) and the beginnings of public museums in Rome” (Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2007). Her research interests lie particularly in the history of images and architecture with reference to the (political) history of ideas in the 15th-21st centuries.

The lecture was part of the lecture series Built Order: Spaces of Power and was a virtual event that took place in German. The lecture was recorded and is available on vimeo.com