Saying that an architectural form is naked is a typical affirmation of everyday language that synthesises multiple characters and meanings through a metaphor. Anti-decorative architecture of modern tradition is naked, buildings under construction or ruined are naked, as are in general those whose bare, essential appearance is intended to give an impression of sincerity. Any architecture expressing an archaic or frugal or even at times primitive atmosphere may also be considered naked. Today, the return to nakedness in architecture may be interpreted as the symptom of the definitive crisis of post-modernism, of its masks and coverings that no longer represent a world with an ever-increasing need for “naked” essentialness.
Valerio Paolo Mosco, architect and critic, is author of Sessant’anni di ingegneria in Italia e all’estero (2010); Architettura contemporanea: Stati Uniti – East Coast (2009); Steven Holl (2009); Architettura contemporanea: Stati Uniti – West Coast (2008); Scritti di architettura (2006); Contemporary Public Space. Un-volumetric Architecture (2005, with Aldo Aymonino).