Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Study for a new definition of the southern side of Prato della Valle in Padua, Italy
Enrico Pietrogrande, Alessandro Dalla Caneva

Last modified: 16-05-2018

Abstract


The southern limit of thePrato della Valle space in the southern part of Padua's historical centre, inItaly, was continuously delimited by the boundary wall of the Santa Maria dellaMisericordia convent until the early twentieth century. Its presence was one ofthe elements that more than a century ago inspired the enlightened proposal byDomenico Cerato, a design professor at the University of Padua who had beeninspired by Andrea Memmo, the Superintendent of the Serenissima Republic ofVenice. The straight and continuous limit was replaced by the discontinuousarchitecture of the Foro Boario entrance, built in 1913 according to a designby Alessandro Peretti; this weakened the overall solution based on anelliptical shape, as did the communicative power of the nearby basilica ofSanta Giustina. The examination carried out dwells on these limits, simulatingthe virtual introduction of architecture with a continuous front to thesouthern edge of the Prato della Valle. One example of this type ofarchitecture is the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art built in Kansas City between1930 and 1933, based on a design by the brothers Thomas and William Wight, andexpanded in 1999 based on a design by Steven Hall. The study generallyconfirmed that the compactness of the building's front newly provides strengthto Cerato's design, which gave a sense of unity to the general emptiness thanksto the certainty of its borders, and gives again the Basilica of Santa Giustinaits monumental size. This paper investigates the composition ofheterogeneous fragments, excerpts from the inventory of collective memory, andthe resulting unpredictable architecture in an urban context.

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