We used to joke around in school about being formalists. But honestly, what’s so bad about being a formalist? Giuseppe Terragni is a badass formalist, and I don’t see a problem with that. Plane as frame is a move that is a very strong move, but also an elegant one. Villa Bianca and Casa Rustici are examples of using that tactic to extend space and blur boundaries. Formal moves for formal purposes have just as much validity as anything else. A design strategy is a design strategy.
Terragni is one of the old masters of formalism before guys from The New York Ten took formal operations and combined them with Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Important work none the less, probably lead to using computer algorhythms to design and ‘tooling’, as it were.