The project, winner of the international competition announced in 2007, fits and continues the cultural history of the building of Guarino Guarini enriching and completing the meanings and functions that have occurred over time: Jesuit College, Academy of Sciences, Natural History Museum, Sabauda Gallery. A careful philological work and the use of the most advanced technologies have allowed bringing to light the values expressed by the Savoy culture.
The analysis of the original conception of the building and its transformations is associated with a critical conception and not just a conservative restoration: the creative process comes from an architectural dialogue with the original projects of Guarini, Garove, Talucchi and Mazzucchetti.
To the volumes of the original Museum and of the Sabauda Gallery, recovered and restored for the exhibition functions, the project has added three new floors under the courtyard area, to give wider space to hospitality services, to technological plants, to new depots and workshops. The visitor, crossing the courtyard of the Palace, enters the “manica Schiaparelli” which hosts the library, the cafeteria and the roof garden. The reception is located on the first floor underground with ticket offices, cloakroom, bookshop, workshops, services, etc. Large skylights provide natural light and optical continuity with the courtyard. Fast vertical paths – escalators up to 24 meters of difference in level – lead the visitor directly at the highest floor of the museum, alongside the “line of the Nile”, a fascinating installation of Dante Ferretti. The museum visit itinerary, about two kilometres long, will then go down through spaces variously characterized: at the top the great “ark” of 40 meters displayed on three levels collects and shows archaeological findings belonging to collections that remained hidden for years in the museum storage rooms.
Alongside the gravestones and statues, the outstanding Egyptian archaeological finding that are the real stars of the museum “float” inside more than one hundred transparent, essential and sophisticated exhibition display cases that have been carefully designed by Isolarchitetti.
The rediscovered historical rooms and the essential modernity of the interventions are among the strength points of the architectural design that allowed here to put into effect the new “scientific program”.
Among all, the most difficult challenge was to maintain, for all the period of the construction site, the museum always openn to visitors, without moving any archaeological object outside of the building.
ARCHITECTURE AND GENERAL COORDINATION: Isolarchitetti s.r.l. group-leader (Aimaro Isola, Saverio Isola, Flavio Bruna, Michele Battaggia, Andrea Bondonio, Stefano Peyretti); Carlo Aymonino; I.C.I.S. s.r.l. (C. Turvani , G. Donna, A. Faletti, L. Luciani, M. Luciani, D. Russo, M. Valente)
RESTORATION: Paolo Marconi; Giancarlo Battista; Marco Grimaldi
ARTISTIC RESTORATION: M.G. De Monte
EXHIBITION TECHNOLOGIES AND DISPLAY CASES: Isolarchitetti
EXHIBITION SETTINGS: Dante Ferretti; Isolarchitetti
STRUCTURES: I.C.I.S. s.r.l. (G. Donna, A. Baracco, I. Favaro)
TECHNICAL PLANTS: ITACA s.p.a. (R. Bellucci Sessa, S. Quintano); PROECO s.s. (S. Bonfante, F. Pautasso)
GEOTECHNICS and SUBSERVICES: ICIS srl (S.A. Accotto, G. Bee, S. Loprevite)
CLIENT: Fondazione Museo delle Antichità Egizie di Torino
PHOTOS: Saverio Lombardi Vallauri