The stadium has carried the day against the art museum
in Sport and modernism in the visual arts in Europe, c. 1909–39
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This chapter takes its title from a quote by Hannes Meyer, the second Director of the Bauhaus and others as an example for the arts and architecture. The final chapter concerns the sports stadium, a building type with its roots in the antique, but thoroughly reimagined for the twentieth century. Amid a slew of projects two stand out. The first is the International Red Stadium in the Soviet Union, a project led by the Russian Constructivists at the VKhUTEMAS (Higher State Artistic and Technical Workshops). Although never realised, with its constructivist impulse it drew attention in Western Europe, partly as result of being featured in the famous Parisian Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925 and partly by virtue of the contacts that El Lissitzky, who worked on the project, had established there. The second is Pier Luigi Nervi’s remarkable stadium in Florence. Named for a fascist martyr, the Giovanni Berta epitomised Italian rationalist ideals. It, like Raffaello Fagnoni’s closely related Mussolini stadium in Turin, was aggressively promoted as an example of the modernity of Mussolini’s Italy.

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