Aldo Rossi fonds

Aldo Rossi fonds

Part of


  • Aldo Rossi (archive creator)
  • Aldo Rossi (architect)
  • Studio di architettura (architectural firm)


Aldo Rossi fonds

Dates of creation

1953-1997, predominant 1962-1997


  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • 8094 drawings
  • 750 reprographic prints
  • 34.1 l.m. of textual records
  • 107 photographs
  • 61 sets
  • 41 rolls
  • 14 models
  • 6 ring binders
  • 1 poster
  • 0.05 l.m. of photographic materials

Scope and Content

The fonds documents the professional practice of architect Aldo Rossi, as well as of his firm, Studio di Architettura (SDA). It chiefly illustrates architectural, urban planning, design, and installation projects by Rossi and SDA, with significant Italian, German and Japanese projects particularly well represented. Additionally, the fonds includes material relating to exhibitions and some material on publications that feature the work of Rossi and his firm. Photographic materials created, collected, and used by Rossi and SDA, as well as administrative records and other materials relating to office activities, operations and events are also present in the fonds. Material in this fonds was produced between 1953 and 1997, predominantly from 1962 to 1997.

The fonds contains architectural drawings, representing nearly every project by Rossi and his firm, and including predominantly design development and presentation drawings, and also including conceptual and working drawings. The textual records in the fonds also represent nearly every project by Rossi and his firm, and notably include a significant number of sketches and conceptual and design development drawings, as well as many copies of presentation and working drawings. The textual records also notably include correspondence, architects' reports and statements, building programmes, competition entries and programmes, technical reports, specifications, administrative records, financial records, contracts, notes, and photographic materials illustrating activities of the firm and travels by Rossi. Also present in the fonds are twelve presentation models and four study models. The fonds is arranged in 2 series: Projects; Exhibitions and Publications.

Reference Number



The fonds is arranged in two series : Projects and Exhibitions and Publications.

Biographical notes


Milan, Italy, 3 May 1931 - Milan, Italy, 4 September 1997

Aldo Rossi was born in Milan, Italy on 3 May 1931. He studied architecture at the Polytechnic University in Milan and received his degree in 1959 having acted as course assistant to Ludovico Quaroni and Carlo Aymonino. From 1955 to 1964 he served as editor of Casabella.

Aldo Rossi began his architectural practice in 1959. In the 1980s he expanded his firm, Studio di Architettura (SDA), also known as Aldo Rossi Studio di architettura and Studio di architettura Aldo Rossi, opening offices in New York City, New York in 1986 with Morris Adjmi, the Hague, Netherlands in 1987 with Umberto Barbieri, and Tokyo, Japan in 1989 with Toyota Horiguchi.

Rossi taught at the Polytechnic University in Milan from 1965 to 1971 and at the Institute of Structural Engineering ETH Zürich, from 1972 to 1975. His most influential publications include The Architecture of the City (L'architettura della città, 1966) and A Scientific Autobiography (Autobiografia scientifica, 1981). Aldo Rossi was awarded the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1990. He died in a car accident in Milan on 4 September 1997.

Conditions governing access

  • Digital material can only be accessed on-site. Please contact Reference at ref@cca.qc.ca for more information. Access by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fonds, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • The documents of the initial acquisition (DRCON2000:0005:001-287), and the subsequent 4 additions (DRCON2000:0009:001-027, DRCON2000:0016:001-089, DRCON2000:0018:001-006 and DRCON2000:0028) were transferred to the CCA from the Aldo Rossi Studio di Architettura after January 31, 2000.

Custodial history

The Aldo Rossi records remained in the custody of the firm until their transfer to the CCA in 2000. Before that date the records were stored in Milan and New York.

In Milan, records were stored at the Aldo Rossi Studio di Architettura (SDA), Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 9. Materials stored there included drawings held in plastic tubes, models and project files contained in variously coloured document binders. A selection of 296 drawings presented at the 1999 Triennale di Milano arrived separately after the close of that exhibition.

In New York, records were stored at SDA, 45 East 20th Street. Materials stored there included drawings, documents and some models, primarily for projects undertaken through the New York office.

Archivist's note

  • The Aldo Rossi fonds was processed and described from 2006 to 2008, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, by Céline Widmer and Colin MacWhirter, under the supervision of Howard Shubert, Curator, Prints and Drawings Collection. The finding aid for the fonds was edited in 2009 by Alexis Lenk. The finding aid and records were updated in 2021 by Archivist Justine Couture as part of the migration data from a legacy database to a new one. This reprocessing included updating records according to new descriptive standards and adding missing information.

Credit line

Aldo Rossi fonds
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal



Language of material

Documents are in Italian, English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese, with some in Danish, Latin, Catalan, Greek, Galician, Arabic, Swedish, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian.

Related units of description

  • Aldo Rossi objects may also be found at the following locations: Deutsches Architektur Museum, Frankfurt (DAM) - 212 drawings, nine models and two sketchbooks for work dating from 1965 to 1988; Maxxi Collection, Rome - 1,127 drawings and nine models for 148 projects, drawings relating to product design, notebooks, teaching notes, writings, videos and correspondence; Aldo Rossi Foundation, Milan - a photographic archive documenting the entire career; Getty Research Center, Los Angeles - 325 drawings, 2,400 items of correspondence, 32 notebooks, miscellaneous writings and teaching notes; Museum of Modern Art, New York (MOMA) - 12 drawings; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris - 52 drawings.
  • Other objects relating to Aldo Rossi in the CCA Collection can be found in the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies Fonds (AP057). Additionally, drawings by Rossi relating to the Centro Direzionale Competition (DR1987:0141-DR1987:0173), Interno Milanese (DR2002:0003), and Südliche Friedrichstadt Competition (DR1999:0030), as well as artworks (DR1999:0028-DR1999:0029), 82 photographs taken by Rossi (PH1996:0069:001-082), and 30 photographs taken by Luigi Ghirri of Rossi projects (PH1996:0023, PH1996:0027-PH1996:0050, PH1996:0052-PH1996:0053, PH1996:0055-PH1996:0057) are also in the Collection.

General note

  • Materials in the Aldo Rossi fonds have been processed and catalogued up to approximately 1994-1995. Materials dated after 1994-1995 are listed in the finding aid and have been processed at a preliminary level. Consult curator for further information.

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