Project Description

Reconstruction of a liberty palace in San Lorenzo Square in Gallarate

Reconstruction - Foto storica di piazza S. Lorenzo Gallarate, del 1954 intitolata

Historical photo of S. Lorenzo Square in Gallarate, entitled “America is here” (1954)

HISTORY: The building was built at the beggining of the Twentieth Century, on the ruins of a feudal historical house. It was the house of the Castelbarco Albani Visconti family, lords of the Gallarate countship.

The building overlooks the San Lorenzo Square, which has been constantly transformed since the 1930’s by the construction of new buildings like Paolo Mezzanotte’s Balilla House, which is a library now, or the tower shape palace of Mario Botta. The original project of the liberty palace’s owner consisted in the demolition of the old building, the creation of an underground parking and the construction of a new building which had to be a replica of the original one.

The first details : Three weeks after the survey, the workers started to install the first decorative elements like the eave crown mouldings, the string-course and the corbels on the facade which overlooks the San Lorenzo Square and the Cavour Street.

Reconstruction - Ricostruzione Gallarate modiglioni e marcapiano

Particular manufacturing: The decorative elements which had to be installed under the 12 balconies put Eleni’s architects to the test as the load-bearing beams of the balcony didn’t leave enough space for the recess of the under balcony decorative element. The solution was to create two front recesses in the element in order to build in the under balcony element and to cover it perfectly with two pieces, similar to the ones which were cut, but with a shorter thickness

Reconstruction - Esempio riproduzione sotto terrazzo edificio storico con incapsulamento putrelle strutturali - Gallarate
Reconstruction - balcone-gallarate

SURVEY: The original decorations were sent to Eleni, where they were scanned in 3D in order to create a perfect replica by using a mechanical milling machine to cut the polystyrene block. After this process, the raw decorations were coated with a fibre reinforced plaster which keeps it lightweight and makes it resistant and appropriate for the external use.

Reconstruction - scansione 3d fregio

After the scaffolding removal, the facade was uncovered. It was a great sensation to see how people which were passing by, directed their gaze to the building and stopped to admire a classical facade which became identical to the original one