Isolarchitetti (group leader), Carlo Aymonino, ICIS, Paolo Marconi, Giancarlo Battista,
Marco Grimaldi, Maria Gabriella De Monte, Dante Ferretti, PROECO, ITACA,
functional reconversion, restoration, extension and safety measures,
Turin, Italy, 2007-2015
The architectural design, winner of the international competition announced in 2007 by the Fondazione Museo delle Antichità Egizie, fits and continues the cultural history of the building of Guarino Guarini enriching and completing the meanings and functions that have occurred over time: Jesuit College, Academy of Sciences, Natural History Museum, Sabauda Gallery. A careful philological work and the use of the most advanced technologies have allowed bringing to light the values expressed by the Savoy culture. To the volumes of the original Museum and of the Sabauda Gallery, recovered and restored for the exhibition functions, the project has added three new floors under the courtyard area, to give wider space to hospitality services, to technological plants, to new depots and workshops. The project has also searched for additional spaces by raising the building in Via Duse to create a charming roof-garden and has rehabilitated all the attics for the most sophisticated plant equipment. The visitor crossing the courtyard of the Palace, enters the “manica Schiaparelli” which hosts the library, the cafeteria and the roof garden. The reception is located on the first floor underground with ticket offices, cloakroom, bookshop, workshops, services, etc. Large skylights provide natural light and optical continuity with the courtyard. Fast vertical paths level – lead the visitor directly at the highest floorof the museum, accompanied by the line of the Nile, a fascinating installation of Dante Ferretti. The museum visit itinerary, about two kilometres long, will then go down through spaces variously characterized: at the top the great ark of 40 meters displayed on three levels collects and shows archaeological findings belonging to collections that remained hidden for years in the museum storage rooms. At the lower floors the itinerary goes through the historic halls, the gallery, the transept and the new spaces. Whenever possible traces of the museum displays that were used during the times have been recovered, as the one of Schiaparelli and the most questionable one of the Sabauda Gallery of Sanpaolesi. The 19th century staircase of Mazzucchetti, carefully restored, has been extended to the floor underground to bring back the visitors to the services located at the exit of the museum. Alongside the gravestones and statues, the outstanding archaeological finding that are the real stars of the museum “float” inside more than one hundred transparent, essential and sophisticated exhibition display cases that have been carefully designed by Isolarchitetti. The rediscovered historical rooms and the essential modernity of the interventions are among the strength points of the architectural design that allowed here to put into effect the new “scientific program”.“high traffic” functions, bringing the guests, through the Schiaparelli wing, to the hypogeal court and then take them through an emotional and cultural experience towards the upper part of the galleries and then coming down towards the lower floors.