- Founder And Creative Director : Mario Cucinella
- Project Director : Marco Dell’Agli
- Project Managers : Tommaso Bettini, Emanuele Dionigi
- Project Team : Biagio Amodio, Stefano Bastia, Paolo Greco, Alberto Menozzi,Marta Torsello, Augusta Zanzillo
- Works Director : Geom. Andrea Falchi
- General Contractor : Cemes SpA Bottai Group
- City : Peccioli
- Country : Italy
Revival of an Italian Hilltown. Designed by Mario Cucinella Architects for the historic centre of Peccioli, Palazzo Senza Tempo is a response to the municipal administration’s desire to encourage new cultural programmes and commercial activity while enhancing the built heritage of this Medieval Tuscan hilltown.
“Peccioli is a real laboratory,” says Mario Cucinella. “In the project we wanted to carry on the idea that historical centres can give themselves a new life with contemporary elements, rather than living only in the past.”
Centred on a piazza overlooked by the Pisan Romanesque church of San Verano, the town of Peccioli is set high above vineyards and olive groves. A public building, Palazzo Senza Tempo comprises a range of renovated and repurposed townhouses dating as far back as the 14th century. Set on the very edge of town, these enjoy direct views east across the unspoilt Era Valley and are now connected internally and externally to a wholly new two-storey building.
New Cantilevered Piazza Adds 21st-century Layer. Spread over several levels, the old and new elements of the palazzo complex comprise apartments, exhibition galleries, study and co-working spaces, a multimedia library, café and restaurant, public meeting rooms, and a spectacular cantilevered 600 m2 terrace, or piazza, projecting over the landscape beyond.
“The new terrace is like a bridge connecting a landscape that looks like a painting from the 1500s with the modern world,” says Mario Cucinella. “With the opening of Palazzo Senza Tempo, Peccioli launches an important theme: that of communities and their public places. It shows the courage of doing something ambitious while respecting history.”
Inside the Revisited Palazzo. Voids, skylights, and bay windows bring welcome daylight inside, and a new glass roof over the passage of a historic courtyard adds visual permeability. The renovated buildings form an interconnected whole, featuring venerable wood-beamed ceilings and, unexpectedly, a dramatic open-stone stair. The architects’ response to the building reflects the nature of Italian hilltowns, with their successions of narrow alleys leading to wide and open civic spaces. Palazzo Senza Tempo creates the same sense of visual surprise.
The surprise continues when the palazzo reveals its new two-storey building. Glazed on three sides, it provides framed views of the landscape. Stepping up and down several levels, lined in wood and with a detailed level of craftsmanship, this is a contemporary building that pays full respect to Peccioli’s historic fabric and setting. It demonstrates how truly modern structures can be a natural part of Italian hilltowns wishing to be far more than living museums.
From Medieval to Modern. Palazzo Senza Tempo demonstrates how new architecture in dialogue with the public life of a town and its historic fabric can create fresh life and activity. It exemplifies the potential for new vitality outside the big cities and the way in which the adaptive reuse of historic buildings is a wholly viable part of this development. Palazzo Senza Tempo is a landmark project in demonstrating a bold yet befitting remodelling approach to Italy’s Medieval hilltowns.