Gustavo Giovannoni was a key figure in architecture, urbanism, and conservation during the first half of the twentieth century in Italy. Neglected after the Second World War, his work and ideas are now being reevaluated for their timely insights on contested questions related to new construction in historic settings. Giovannoni opposed the introduction of alien materials and forms into historic settings, but also discouraged literal replication of historic features. Rather, he promoted new designs as inventions within a stylistic and constructive tradition, obeying principles of "minimum work," "simple forms," respect for vernacular traditions, typological and constructive continuities, and a holistic conception of the preexisting context. His own design work offers valuable case studies, and a detailed examination of his contribution suggests approaches for contemporary interventions that move beyond superficial debates about style. Some key passages from his writings are offered here in English translation for the first time.