In a context of renewed interest in twentieth century rural architecture, this essay reviews the contribution made by Giuseppe Pagano and the exhibition organised with Guarniero Daniel for the VI Triennale of Milan. It views it in terms of an interdisciplinary debate in which geographers, ethnographers, engineers and architects take part in Italy between the two wars. It is a debate that is echoed on the pages of specialist channels and is fuelled by the policies for the reorganisation of agriculture launched by the fascist regime, which overlap with arguments on what is ‘Mediterranean’ and the search for an Italian way within modern architecture. And in this context the distinguishing feature of Pagano’s stance is its methodological perspective centred on functionality which derives from an investigation of the vernacular tradition.
Keywords: Vernacular architecture; Giuseppe Pagano; the rural house