Zumaglini & Gallina

Restructuring and conservative restoration of the San Liborio complex for residential, commercial and service use

Bellezia St 12, 14, 16, Turin

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Works execution: 2004-2009
Time limit for completion: 1,000 days
Client: built on one's own account
Total area: 7,000 sq metres
External garden areas: 230 sq metres

Front Restoration

The guiding principle in front restoration was to restore a coherent urban environment. Openings were preserved in their previous locations. At the ground floor doors and shop windows were organically rearranged, eliminating incongruent interventions and interspersing empty spaces according to the original design. Wooden doors and windows were replaced with new consistent ones. The roofing of the building, which must be restored in compliance with strict conservation principles, consists of a mixed system of pavilion and hut structures. The project envisaged the complete reconstruction of the roof, keeping the original outline, slope and springer and ridge height.The new elements are made of the same material and have the same shape and appearance of the replaced ones. Good performance is ensured by a thermo-insulating package and waterproofing layers. The roof surface consists of recovered "coppi" the old original tiles, with the lower layer made of ecological slabs of a colour similar to the upper roof layer.

Space distribution

Space distribution in the building is very heterogeneous: on the one side the entrance hall and the grand staircase, the true courtly core of the building, one the other side the internal stairs. The staircase at the entrance of Bellezia St 12 remains together with the new lift in the same wing. They connect all levels, ensuring accessibility and communication with the basement. The aim of the project is to strengthen the historical core of the entrance hall and of the grand staircase, recovering the ancient axis that connects the street with the courtyard, where the old cloister is located. Space identity remains intact while restoration confirms the lofty character of the building. Not only the precious architecture of the double height entrance hall and of the grand staircase is recovered, but the hierarchy of the main distribution node is strengthened.

Interiors of the main body

Internal spaces are used for different purposes, for commercial use at the ground floor and in the basement and for residential use and offices at the upper floors.
In compliance with the historical environmental character of the building, the restoration of interiors was designed to obtain high living standards and guarantee excellent comfort.
In keeping with the historical use of the premises overlooking Bellezia and Santa Chiara Streets, with craftsmen workshops and various shops serving the ancient cloister, ground floor spaces are indeed occupied by shops.
In addition to storerooms, cellars were built in the basement for the residential apartments.
At the upper floors, some spaces, given their peculiar distribution, are more suitable for residential use because of their overlooking characteristics, natural light and layout, compared to other premises that are more suitable for offices.
In the attic, the plan lay-out is readjusted only when required by existing legislation.
To that end, dormer windows, built with materials congruent with the original construction methods used for the building, in compliance with the formal historical urban character, guarantee the air and light ratios required by the existing health and safety regulations for bedrooms and living rooms, while for toilets with no opening, forced ventilation is envisaged at regular intervals.
Overall, the intervention follows the existing plan, without changing the location of its continuous bearing structures and preserving current orientations. Treatments include sandblasting, peeling and new plastering, with the only exception of the attic.