Since early times, humans have explored the space below their feet for different purposes, whether to flee persecution and war, to find protection from severe climates, to improve urban life, or to solve environmental problems. A rare look at old and new subterranean structures from an architect’s perspective, Notes From the Underworld: An Architectural Exploration examines the underworld through the lenses of wartime, life and death, religious and secular rituals, and adaptive reuse. The atlas of over 80 international projects ranges widely in time period and type, from a house in a defunct nuclear silo to an Arctic seed bank, a nightclub, art venues, an Italian winery, and a monastery carved into a mountain. All are surprising examples of how invisible man-made spaces follow the same cultural and economic cues as their visible counterparts and are places where we store, hide, repress, and live.
Stefano Corbo is an Italian architect, researcher, and assistant professor at Rhode Island School of Design. He holds a PhD and a Master of Architecture II Degree in advanced architectural design from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura Madrid. Corbo has taught at several academic institutions in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and has published two books, From Formalism to Weak Form: The Architecture and Philosophy of Peter Eisenman and Interior Landscapes: A Visual Atlas. In 2012 he founded his own office, SCSTUDIO, a multidisciplinary network practicing public architecture and design, preoccupied with intellectual, economic, and cultural contexts.