Industrial Building with Corner Tower, 1913

Antonio Sant'Elia

Prophet of the violent, industrial future

Antonio Sant’Elia lived the quintessential futurist life — short, violent and driven by an all-consuming desire to remake the world. He was born in 1888 in Como, Lombardy, and at age 19 became a draftsman. In the next nine years he created dozens of architectural drawings and schematics illustrating a Città Nuova, the 'New City' and penned the Manifesto of Futurist Architecture. Sant’Elia was killed in the Eighth Battle of the Isonzo, in World War 1, cutting short his industrial vision of modern life.

Sant’Elia's drawings establish a monumental scale: towering, interconnected urban plinths that hum with energy. As with many of the futurist and expressionist architects at the turn of the century, most of Sant’Elia's works were ever completed. But his vision still appears in science fiction films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner, and the sweeping worlds of the Halo games, and take physical form in the functional architecture of modern power plants and hydroelectric dams. 

Read More

Industrial Building with Corner Tower


Air and Train Station with Funiculars


Just as the ancients drew inspiration for their art from the elements of nature, we—who are materially and spiritually artificial—must find that inspiration in the elements of the utterly new mechanical world we have created.

Manifesto of Futurist Architecture


The New City


The New City — House Staircasing


The New City — House Stairs with External Lifts


The Power Plant


Obelisk uses cookies to measure site usage, helping us understand our readers' interests and improve the site. By continuing to browse this site you agree to the use of cookies. Learn more