Early Architectural Photography 1966-69

Italy, Scandinavia, Brazil, Argentina, Romania, Israel

Reviewing architecture photographed fifty years ago raises an important question: what is the meaning of these images for the reinvention of the post-pandemic 2020s?

The 1960s was a revolutionary decade. The protests against the Vietnam war became global. The women’s liberation movement entered into high gear. The civil rights movement had some legislative gains. President Kennedy, Bob Kennedy, and Martin Luther King were assassinated. And for the first time, we saw our planet from outer space. We became aware of the Earth’s limited resources.

During this time, before discovering Wright and Pellegrin, our architecture heroes were Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto. They set the direction of architecture in post-WWII Europe, Le Corbusier with a social agenda expressed through planning and design, and Aalto by braking away from dogmas towards a more organic architecture.  These and other architects such as Giovanni Michelucci, Hans Scharoun, Frederick Kiesler and Oscar Niemeyer conceived spaces at a human scale with their eyes closed, without the help of CAD-3D renderings. They created poetry and experimented with forms made out of basic materials and low budgets.


In 1966 we were a newlywed twenty-one years old couple coming to Rome from Israel to continue our studies in architecture. Studying history of architecture with Bruno Zevi influenced our desire for leaning-by-seeing. Photography helped to observe attentively.

We bought our first semi-professional camera, a 35 mm Exakta RTL 1000, and started to explore Rome with our friend Bernard Legé, also a student of architecture. Moving around with his Citroen Deux Chevaux, we visited many of the city’s landmarks spaning in time two thousand years. We also traveled together throughout Italy and hitchhiked from Rome to cities like Siena, Florence, Bologna, Milan, Turin, and Venice.

In 1967, shortly after the end of the Six-Day War, we flew to Israel. After spending a couple of weeks exploring Jerusalem and a long drive throughout the West Bank, we flew to Istanbul. From there we traveled by train throughout Romania.

In 1968 we bought a VW Bug and headed towards Scandinavia. Crossing Switzerland, and Germany, we met with Bernard in Copenhagen and continued together to Sweden and Finland, to see many of Alvar Aalto’s works. Along our path, we also visited and photographed other remarkable works of architecture. On the way back to Rome, we visited some of Le Corbusier’s masterpieces: the Ville Savoye, Ronchamp, La Tourette, the Unite habitation in Marseille.

ITALY 1966 – 1969




ISRAEL 1967-69

Today we have more tools and information than we are capable of digesting. What we need is humane strategic thinking capable of confronting the challenges that lay ahead of us. I hope that some of the following images may be inspiring.