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Place: Pisa

The residential complex designed by Studio Galantini in via Pietrasantina in Pisa presents, in its limited scope, a characteristic singularity.

The area in which it stands is a few hundred meters from Piazza dei Miracoli, along the historic exit from Pisa in the direction of Versilia, and almost faces the parking lot, destination for tourist buses; in the context of the fabric of this part of the city it constituted an urban void.

This area, almost rectangular in shape, with the short side facing via Pietrasantina, was occupied by a fuel station for transport, which constituted a fracture in the fabric built along the road. The built street front gives a strong historical value to this artery, located outside the city walls, but which absolutely does not present the characteristics of the post-unification suburban settlements, based on types of isolated buildings.

The Pisa-Lucca railway contributed to further fragment the built environment and the current Urban Planning Regulations classified the area as recent urban structures susceptible to increases in the settlement load and new construction, for which the destination as a private residence was also envisaged.

The urban planner's goal was to restore the fabric built flush with the street, along a tree-lined avenue of historical value. The construction had to be placed in adherence to the neighboring building (respecting the seismic joint), reconstituting the interrupted alignment.

The aspect that confers singularity and a certain compositional difficulty concerned the architectural characteristics required by the RU Technical Standards: the architecture had to be inspired by traditional aesthetic and compositional criteria, in order to make the building perfectly integrated and compatible with the existing one. . In other words, it was required to create a fake in style, which can be placed in the period between the 19th and 20th centuries, a choice that in Pisa, especially in the Lungarni of the historic center, has been practiced several times. The need to respond to standards, building regulations and economic sustainability, however, obliged us to compose without being able to respect the proportions and syntax required, creating an out-of-scale and disproportionate work, running the risk of falling into the most anonymous vernacular.

The challenge, won in the opinion of the critics, was to treat the facade as a self-deprecating quote. The terracotta roof with a hipped roof, the frames, the sills in pietra serena, the portal, also in stone, made as a design work, the eaves cornice, the ashlar in plaster, the wooden shutters, create a work of evident modernity and lightness, creating a new compositional syntax for traditional grammatical elements.

The building has been divided into two parts: the portion along the street, which we have talked about and the rear one, articulated by the block of the vertical connection, marked by a transparent glass brick wall.

The design of the rear part is inspired by characters of linearity and order with a minimalist design that dialogues with the existing buildings, responding to aesthetic criteria of complete relevance, while having a treatment completely similar to the road block, such as to provide an image unitary architectural.

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