Chemical and Biological Library / Giuseppe Rebecchini

  • 09 Jul 2012
  • Museums and Libraries Selected Works
© Andrea Cordoni

Location: Ferrara, Province of Ferrara,
Design Team: Giuseppe Rebecchini with Chiara Naseddu
Photographs: Andrea Cordoni

Project Area: 1500.0 sqm
Collaborators: Gianluca Freudiani – Antonio Ravalli

A great place to study is what we find in the former XIV century church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the historic web of the city of Ferrara. A central scientific library area-wide chemical-biological University of Ferrara. A structure, with many students and teachers every day; a project of restoration and reuse when its creator, the architect Giuseppe Rebecchini, was able to synthesize the many demands and needs of institutional clients in their own language, with attention to energy saving elements of natural ventilation.

© Andrea Cordoni

Thus was born into the great void volume of the church, an autonomous and independent dall’involucro existing historical, ready to accommodate the warehouses, offices and areas for consultation and interpretation of biological chemistry new library while preserving the frescoes and the existing historic masonry. A tiered structure, where the great central wall blue, reminiscent of the end of four hundred paintings Ferrara, star of the whole project, dividing the space into two, becomes a unifying element of the various plans with the scale that supports and container enclosing inside all the technical equipment and piping for heating and cooling the building naturally.

© Andrea Cordoni

He preferred a newspaper I plaster the inside side of the cloister, leaving the main entrance of the former church is available only in certain public occasions. And always to the cloister intervention led to the reopening of what was once the porch of the convent, now transformed into a study room, with upstairs offices, separate from the outside by large full height glazing. From the hall access, where even the toilets are located you pass to the catalogs that leads to the great reading room full height.

© Andrea Cordoni

Interestingly, as Rebecchini realize a body continuously without interruption, but independent, according to various functions. As the consultation room for magazines on the top floor, with large wooden truss ceiling in sight, deeply isolated from the large main wall but not foreign, in correlation with the rest of the body with secondary staircase that opens and overlooking spatially on the large main compartment. You never lose the original identity of the factory, the value of ecclesiastical structurally recognizable from the inner wall of the main facade, left intentionally free-to-ceiling, and from that religious silence which belongs to the large reading room on his shoulders. One space for study and research then, but a contemporary space with a well-defined sacral and historical identity.

Plan 01

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Chemical and Biological Library / Giuseppe Rebecchini" 09 Jul 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>