Bellini faces a typical problem of Italian cities: an existing building of great architectural quality and importance to the city, “chained” to its exterior façades, but which must be upgraded in order to make room for new functions which in this case are those required by Generali Group to host high-level manager training courses. The so-called “Red Skyscraper of Trieste”, like many other well-known Italian buildings, is not a “monument” but rather belongs to that crowded category of edifices that today in particular take on great cultural and environmental value due to their capacity to impress themselves in the collective memory of a city, of a cultural and social fabric.
An insistent desire for modernity with the goal of improving the quality of the spaces and their use pushes the project to find wherever possible parts of the building on which to stubbornly intervene: the small courtyard is stripped down until only the load-bearing structures are left, covering them up with transparent and reflective skin that from the ground goes up towards the sky supporting the “Lion of Generali”.
The external doors and windows are renewed and integrated with an internal device that increases the amount and quality of light that enters the spaces. The terraces are more fully exploited, offering to all the panorama of Trieste’s waterfront. The full-on contact of historical architecture, the restrictions and all of the attached bureaucracy that come with a monument, the contemporariness of the language and technology in comparison to the existing architectural layout, finds the balance of a “new architecture”. Bellini continues in a personal and not at all “bourgeois” way the Italian history of Boito, of Luca Beltrami, of Carlo Scarpa, of Franco Albini.
Year: 2015/2017 in progress
Architect: Mario Bellini Architects
Design Team: Mario Bellini with Raffaele Cipolletta
Project Team: Veronica Guarriello, Flavia Sandelewski, Patrizia Semeraro, Luca Bosetti, Marco Parravicini, Francesco Savoini
Location: Piazza Duca degli Abruzzi, 1, Trieste
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