Competition “La Torre” Reale Immobili
The redesign project of Littoria Tower in Turin is the result of an ambitious contest, opened by Reale Mutua, inviting the participation of a selection of some the most skilled Italian architects between 30 and 50 years of age.
The objective of the contest is threefold: to transform the top two floors of the Tower into a bar with a panoramic 360 degree view; to add a glass-walled restaurant space on the roof of the building’s main body facing the piazza, on level with the Tower’s eighth floor; and to introduce a panoramic elevator that may transport visitors up the north-facing side of the Tower, from ground level, stopping at the restaurant floor and then the Tower’s top.
The contest offers the invited designers and planners an extraordinarily valuable project: a private redevelopment of simultaneous public interest, intertwining meaningful symbolisms, both for Reale Mutua and the City of Turin.
The project’s theme expresses a profound complexity, which is also a sign of its clear topical relevance: on the one hand, it comports the introduction of contemporary imagery within an historical setting, and on the other, the change – even partial – in usage of a well- known, important building. In short, its reinterpretation as an architectural feature.
The introduction of contemporary elements as architectural reinterpretation was simply an extrapolation from the Tower’s original value: an audacious feat of construction, which at the time of its creation, represented an act of courage, of technical innovation and architectural avant-garde. The contemporary additions, therefore, cannot help but be equally and profoundly innovative – with regards to both technology and audacity – whilst at the same time maintaining a generally modest tone in form.
The context’s extreme importance requires an attentive analysis of the Piazza’s main characteristics: the palaces that line it’s sizeable space possess highly detailed facades, which nonetheless together form a unified whole, in accordance with Castellamontian Baroque Classicism. Above this intricate yet homogenous texture of facades, arches, and windows, and the straight line of identical archways, stand a selection of exceptional architectural features, each one unique and typically Baroque.
From the eighth floor – set to be the restaurant area – or rather, from its terrace, one may partake in an entirely different visual spectacle, an urban panorama made up of buildings of a much similar height.
This space fits within the classical Baroque lines, and engages in a subtle interplay with Palazzo Madama: the statues atop the balustrade interact visually with the restaurant, almost as if exchanging glances with the patrons who, from their privileged viewpoint, will no doubt feel themselves become part of Turin’s history, active players in that great historical stage, the Theatrum Sabaudiae.
The project starts from these elements of analysis and reinterprets them in a solution that incorporates values founded on uniformity of design, technical innovation and the maximum development of the urban landscape. These values all come together to form a unified whole, regulating all those new and contemporary elements which are to be introduced within the historical context – the restaurant, the panoramic elevator, the street level entrance – all elements that are bound together by their strong technological, compositional and lexical coherence.
Project: Benedetto Camerana; Camerana&Partners
Collaborators: Bruno Causarano, Aline Nunes, André Temporelli, Paolo Dall’Ara, Eugenia Comparetto
Consultants: Lorena Alessio, Cesare Monti, Leonardo Lani, Franco Bergamino, Carlo Micono. alessiostudio; Rosali Alessio (Impaginazione grafica); Marco Brizio (Ideazione e produzione video);
Simona Della Rocca, Silvio Marsanic
Type: resturants, bar, panoramic elevator
Client: Reale Immobili
Procedure: competition, first prize
Chronology: competition 2011-2012; project review 2012-2013
Location: Torino, Italy