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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Florence library, Florence, Italy

GGAF outline three conceptual projects for the Italian beautyspot
The Tuscan capital city of Florence is upheld as one of Europe's greatest beauty spots. With spectacular architecture dating back through the centuries, great pains are felt in order to maintain the historical context and structure of the city, but no city can remain static. Endeavouring to 'provoke a critical reflection about the architectural establishment' of their hometown, Groupo Giovanni Architetti Firenze, GGAF, have outlined three conceptual projects involving three of the city's most coveted locations.

Florence Cathedral, the construction of which commenced in the year 1296, is a Gothic jewel with a predominantly marble facade. Its dome providing a compass point for visitors and residents alike, is the largest ever constructed in brick. "One provocative and yet therapeutic response to the question on how to awaken Florence into the 21st century is to make the dome of the cathedral disappear," say GGAF. "If for a year or so we applied a futuristic painting of the dome’s surface, making it transparent, we would be led to ponder its concealment and how its cathedral, Santa Maria del fiore, appears somehow incomplete to us, as well as Florence itself." By doing so, the firm say, psychological disruption will present itself to encourage forward thought and remove inhibitions.

"The Galleria degli Uffizi is a magnificent museum, one of the most important in the world," say GGAF of their second location, "yet we observe it and perceive it in a space that lacks the ability to reflect its renowned fame." Their proposal suggests an atrium roof which will stretch the gallery over the great square and create a unified space in which to marvel at the interaction between the modern and the ancient.

Lastly, GGAF take inspiration from the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval inhabited bridge spanning the Arvo River, to offer a new prominence to one of Florence's most important buildings, La Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, The National Library of Florence. "It has a heritage of inestimable value, whether for its completeness or for its value of historical books and documents," say the firm, "Yet today it is on the verge of collapse: deprived of funds, of space, and of personnel." GGAF propose a new structure which would reflect the institution's importance, spanning the river as a bridge, creating a bold focal point. "We want to give new space and new visibility to an institution that should be one of the founding pillars of Florentine identity and to restore a dignity to Florence so it can establish itself once again in the panorama of world, cultural excellence."

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