Project Details

Restore and re-functionalize a ruin in the center of Trento to transform it into a visitor center at the gateway to the city. The competition required finding a functional and formal solution to restore and valorize the South Barchessa of “Palazzo delle Albere”. The concept behind the project is to recover the Barchessa in a contemporary key, making it highly functional and flexible to meet modern demands, but preserving the aesthetics of the ruin and the fragments handed down from the past. read more

The current urban subdivision is the evidence of heterogeneity, where continuous urban transformations have reduced the monumentality of the entire Renaissance complex, now surrounded by a chaotic mixture of architectural styles. This scenario clearly explains how the South Barchessa has been overpowered by its surroundings over the decades, gradually losing its presence at the urban level, until it reached the ruined state as of today. Considering an urban planning strategy, the task was to give back the proper importance to the ancient Barchessa, which constituted, together with its twin, the entrance to the Palace. We decided to free up the space on the east front of the building, creating a small square that would open the restored facade. From the east wall three accesses are located: two to enter inside the building and one to access the fenced courtyard-garden through a stone portal. Suddenly, a Corten stairwell bring the visitor to the raised public terrace. We choose to direct the accesses toward the historic center of Trento, with which the restored building will be ideally linked. The proposal for the building is to operate, in the first instance, a conservative restoration of the existing ruins, consolidating the historic stone walls. The intervention also applies integrated conservation criteria, balancing the permanence of the historical evidence with the need to enhance it by means of uses that will ensure its enjoyment over time and its subsequent maintenance. We decided not to reconstruct in volume the entire building as it was, but to maintain the masonry of the ruin that history has handed down to the present, in a way that building’s palimpsest could be read. Therefore, only the spaces that were strictly necessary were covered, with sloping pitches between the existing eave and ridge walls. In designing the spaces included between the existing walls, we opted to leave some of them open-air to emphasize the idea of the “Ruskinian” matrix ruin. Likewise, the use of transparent roofing in some rooms, especially in the visitor center lobby, makes the historical evidence visible from the inside. We decided not to create a single closed mass, but to divide it by two narrow open-air spaces placed transversely in the center of the floorplan. One of the two houses a rectilinear staircase and the other an elongated and distinctly vertical cavern at the base of which is housed a pond for water collection. The two entrances will be portals on the east front, one extremely transparent to draw the public inside the visitor center, and the other opaque that will lead to the first of the exhibition rooms. The new visitor center will be a receptive space for tourists in Trento, and it will be able to house the info-point, ticketing for the exhibitions, a refreshment stands and a bookshop. The striking double-height nave, combined with the transparent roof with the rhomboidal mesh wooden structure in view, will become the central space of the project. From the portal next door, the vaulted space of the first exhibition hall will be accessed. A new passageway will open at the back of the main room, visually extending the space to the next room. The transit itself from the first to the second hall will be by means of a glazed passageway over the water collection pond in the center of the building, so that new and unprecedented interior views of the Barchessa will always be guaranteed. The next four exhibition spaces will have more traditional dimensions and aesthetics. In the center of this portion of the building there will be the service rooms: bathrooms, elevator and technical spaces. A staircase placed in the rift of the building, will lead to the event space, the reading room and the panoramic terrace. read less

Linea Sottile


Municipality of Trento

Linea Sottile

project year


Linea Sottile


competition entry

Linea Sottile



Linea Sottile



Linea Sottile