A stone’s throw in the Neoclassical swamp of design. The Serra of Ivrea: guidelines for a restoration project

Susanna Caccia Gherardini


The East residential unit built in Ivrea in 1967 by the Venetian architects Igino Cappai and Pietro Mainardis encompasses most of the set of problems related to the protection and restoration of modern architectures. Commissioned by Adriano Olivetti as a connecting element between the ancient city and the new one, which was linked to the forward-looking industrial policies, the Serra is part of an open-air museum of the Italian Modern and Modernist period. The idea is that of a building-city – to an extent close to some considerations of Le Corbusier or to more utopian visions of the Avant-Garde in architecture – where various services such as the library, cinema, bar-restaurant, swimming pool, gym and supermarket, all interlinked by a connection network, are alternated with basic residential units. The project of knowledge acquisition and restoration of this building addresses not only the problem of the obsolescence of its functions, but above all the issue of the speed of the deterioration processes of its materials.


Olivetti; restoration; obsolescence; prefabbrication; modernity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/RA-19510

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