This project appeared originally on Domus 1059, July-August 2021
The completion of the restoration and adaptation of the former Casa del Fascio in Lissone by Gambardellarchitetti is good news indeed. It is so because the public administration of a small Italian town – the Municipality of Lissone owns the building since 1968 – found resources and showed interest in preserving a valuable episode of the Italian architectural Modern, realized between 1938 and 1940 by Giuseppe Terragni and Antonio Carminati. It is good news also because the intervention was commissioned to such a sensitive and cultured designer as Cherubino Gambardella – which was anything but obvious.
Gambardella, with Simona Ottieri and Dirk Cherchi, the director of the restoration of the façades on behalf of the Municipality, succeeded in guiding the building towards a new, convincing configuration, starting from a curious and critical reading of its troubled history. A strictly philological restoration wouldn’t be suitable for the Casa del Fascio, whose complex vicissitudes include its only partial completion and several intrusive adaptations – such as the one carried out in the 1970s by Piero Ranzani and Lorenzo Forges Davanzati. Rather, its conditions suggested the definition of a “possible” stratigraphy, re-discovered and continued by contemporary transformations and additions.
For the interiors, Gambardella correctly focuses uniquely on making them compliant with public buildings regulations, in order to stress the Casa del Fascio’s collective program, as a space for events and associations. The intervention on the main and rear façades, on the other hand, becomes an opportunity to claim the possible coexistence of different approaches within the same restoration project: the elevation on Piazza Libertà is preserved in its original features, also through the accurate restoration of the long roller shutter; on the rear front, instead, the long-lost sequence of oblique fins is reintroduced, as evidence of the distinctive interpretation of Modernism endorsed by Terragni.
It is precisely on this elevation that takes place a successful encounter between Terragni’s anti-abstract exuberance and Gambardella’s anti-minimalist taste. The Neapolitan architect, the author of countless brightly-colored and highly expressive works, shows here his ability to adopt a much softer, virtually hushed style, allowing an active an re-active confrontation with the Italian master.
- Restoration and adaptation of the former Casa del Fascio
- public building
- Lissone, Italy
- Scientific coordinatio:
- Cherubino Gambardella
- Design team:
- Simona Ottieri with Luigi Arcopinto, Francesca Filosa, Alessandro Marotti Sciarra, Antonella Mollo
- Site supervision:
- Maria Concetta Perazzo
- Attilio Terragni (Fondazione Terragni)
- Studio restauri Formica, Teicos UE
- Municipality of Lissone