So much wonderful design comes out of Italy; thus we were surprised by this tale. Seven years ago young Italian architect Sergio Bianchi won a competition to design an artist's retreat 40 miles south of Rome. According to Metropolis, "The design was simple, but because of the country's archaic building laws, which are predisposed against contemporary architecture, the approval and construction process became a six-year-long nightmare."
It is built on the existing footprint of the abandoned stone villa that preceded it, has a "biological sewage system and a roof fitted for solar panels," but the neighbours went nuts. "When the mayor and government engineer saw it, they said it was too much like science fiction," Bianchi says.
Evidently " In Italy government officials are personally liable if anything goes wrong with a project they approve, encouraging the proliferation of monotonous cement eyesores. According to Amedeo Schiattarella, president of the Architects Association of Rome, "A country house has a different function than before, but people are afraid of moving ahead. They are not prepared to consider modern architecture because it is a language they don't know." ::Metropolis