Giovanni Michelucci, Italian architect, urban planner and designer, was born in Pistoia on the 2nd of January 1891 and died on the night of 31 December 1990, two days before his hundredth birthday, at his studio-home in Fiesole, in Florence's hills, now the headquarters of his Foundation. He had the good fortune to live a long life almost entirely within the span of the twentieth century, giving us a valuable witness through his work with innovative architectural vernaculars and proposals, from his understanding of the complexity of events, transformations, and ideas that animated the twentieth century. He was one of the major Italian architects of that century, known for famous projects such as the Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station and the San Giovanni Battista church on the Autostrada del Sole.
He came from a family which owned an outstanding workshop for artistic iron craftsmanship and his youthful formative years were spent immersed in that world, after graduating from the Higher Institute of Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence. In 1914 he was licensed as a professor of architectural design; so he could teach at the Institute of Architecture of Florence, and became Dean of the Faculty of Architecture in 1944.
Renato Fondi became involved in book projects, one of the "Famiglia Artistica" and "La Tempra", which bind to the critical Pistoia also in the subsequent experiences in Rome.
During the war Michelucci built his first architectural work, a chapel on the eastern front in Casale Ladra, near Caporetto (today in Slovenia); later he was often forced to face the effects of trauma (the reconstruction of the center of Florence after the Second World War, the church at Longarone after the tragedy of Vajont dam, the plan for the popular Santa Croce district after the Florence Flood in 1966).