Fortress Franzensfeste- Construction “C” – BBT Infopoint- Fortezza - Italy
The fortress Franzensfeste was built between 1833 and 1838 and consists of three autonomous parts: the upper, the middle and the lower fortress. First, the lower part and then the upper part has been renovated. In 2014/15 the building body C with the Infopoint BBT has been converted and expanded. This had been severely destroyed in the 1970s by the transfer of the state road.
The basic idea behind the revitalization of the existing structures was the preservation of the unaffected state and the use of the fortress by minimal interventions. Patina and aura of the fortress were to remain in accordance with the new interventions for the development and use. Few carefully selected elements create new connecting paths in the plant and thus make it possible to use as an exhibition space. The materials are selected in accordance with the local conditions of the fortress. The chromaticity and the materiality create “abstract” references to the existing architecture, but nevertheless allow a clear readability of the new interventions. The basic principle of the restoration “Old is old – new is new” is extended in the sense of a dialogue between historical stock and contemporary architecture. The focus was on the preservation of the buildings and the preservation of the fortress squares.
The new main entrance uses the existing door opening in the outer wall opposite the building 40 (courtyard lower fortress, adjacent to the existing main entrance building body C).
From here you enter the long and narrow inner courtyard with the fortification wall of the building body C.
A new course, which is broken out of the underlying rock, becomes a gateway for the visitor. In the fortification wall the necessary new opening is cut from the masonry (diamond saw).
The area along the road is separated from the road by an expanded metal grid, which is set back about 50 cm from the outside edge of the rock.
The outline of the building 10 is traced in its ground plan and is executed as covering the tunnel hole. The new construction of this volume, arranged above the street and with a strong connection with the existing context, can be regarded as an “increase” due to its architectural and static challenges. It thus makes it possible to access the destroyed area. Through this intervention it becomes possible again to open up all historical fortress remains.
The new hall is set up as a “box” (room in space principle) in the reconstructed building envelope of the building 10 and executed in two-layered black insulating clay with interposed thermal insulation.
The project has returned to the fortress the volumes that have disappeared, and has restored the remaining volumes in a new spatial logic and in a similar language.
Laterally there will be a passage which ensures the rainproof connection between the various buildings, even in case of an event. The arrivals from the lower level (new main entrance) as well as the elevator and a small open foyer area are also located in the rain-protected area of this roof slab.
The new visible materials are few and simple materials that blend harmoniously into the historical context.
Photo: Alessandra Chemollo