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Florence

Falling Masonry Kills Tourist in Florence's Deteriorating Basilica di Santa Croce

17:15 - 19 October, 2017
Falling Masonry Kills Tourist in Florence's Deteriorating Basilica di Santa Croce, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/37873897@N06/5035043739'>Flickr user Flavio~</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user Flavio~ licensed under CC BY 2.0

A Spanish tourist has been killed by a piece of falling masonry in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. As reported by The Guardian, the 52-year old victim was hit by "a piece of decorative stone that fell from a height of 20 metres (66 ft) as he visited the religious building with his wife." Reports suggest that the fragment was around 15cm by 15cm (6 by 6 inches) in size; according to Yahoo, the fragment "had supported a beam in the right transept of the Basilica."

Following the incident, the attraction has been closed to visitors indefinitely.

From Brunelleschi to Today, This Documentary Tracks the Evolution of Architecture in Tuscany

09:30 - 9 September, 2017

Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the Italian region of Tuscany to view works of architectural mastery. Renowned architectural figures such as Michelangelo and Brunelleschi transformed Tuscan cities to be stages of cultural rebirth during the 14th-17th century. These times, however, have passed. Today, Tuscany is faced with problems such as the decline of suburbs, abandoned buildings, and property speculation. The modern Italian architecture scene is in decline, and the country is experiencing an oversupply of architects, requiring many to emigrate in search of work.

Can the spirits of these Renaissance architectural masterminds be emulated today in modern Tuscany? This is exactly the topic that cultural association 120g explores in their new documentary, Tuscanyness. The film depicts how this nature of cultural rebirth is alive today through the architects born and educated in the Tuscan region. Here, emerging architects have the unique opportunity to listen to the teachings of the past to inform the architecture of the future.

The Prickly Question of Progress in an Urban World Heritage Site

04:00 - 17 December, 2015
The Prickly Question of Progress in an Urban World Heritage Site, Palazzo Vecchio. Image © Petar Milošević
Palazzo Vecchio. Image © Petar Milošević

The Italian city of Florence is, according to an article for The Observer, seeking "a better class of tourist." Palazzos are being sold off and converted into hotels and spas, and the ubiquitous 'luxury apartment' development brands are creeping ever closer to some of the city's most treasured architectural monuments.  In response, a recent report from UNESCO is urging the municipal government to consider the long-term effects of proposed infrastructural plans on the city, which was inscribed in 1982. "For many vocal and disgruntled Florentines," Stephanie Kirchgaessner writes, "the Palazzo Vecchio is looking less like a stately symbol of civic pride and more like an estate agency."

Florence's Museum of the Opera del Duomo set to Reopen to the Public

04:30 - 22 October, 2015
The 'Pietà' Room. Image © Antonio Quattrone
The 'Pietà' Room. Image © Antonio Quattrone

The new Florentine museum of the Opera del Duomo, affiliated to the city's cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is set to reopen its doors to the public next week following years of restoration and reconstruction. 6000 square metres of exhibition space, designed by Adolfo Natalini and Guicciardini & Magni architetti, will house the largest collection of Florentine medieval and Renaissance sculpture in the world, including pieces by Donatello, Michelangelo (the Florentine Pietà), Andrea Pisano, Lorenzo Ghiberti (Gates of Paradise), and Luca della Robbia. It will also exhibit fifteen 14th century statues and almost seventy fragments from the cathedral's original medieval façade.

Read Monsignor Timothy Verdon's, Director of the Opera, narrative of the new spaces after the break.

The Museum Of The Twentieth Century / Avatar Architettura

17:00 - 10 July, 2015
The Museum Of The Twentieth Century / Avatar Architettura, © Pietro Savorelli
© Pietro Savorelli

© Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli + 21

A Renaissance Gem In Need Of Restoration

00:00 - 19 November, 2014

The Pazzi Chapel is a landmark of architecture in the city that was once the cradle of the Italian Renaissance: Florence. Located in the Santa Croce church complex (the largest Franciscan church in the world), the chapel was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi - the goldsmith-turned-architect who dedicated his life to engineering the dome of Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore. It is "a prime example of 15th-century architectural decoration in grey pietra serena sandstone, colourful maiolica, and terracotta."

550 years have taken their toll on this structure and its decoration. Concern for the state of the loggia of the chapel is now so great that the non-profit institution in charge of the church’s administration - the Opera di Santa Croce - have raised 50% of the funds needed to carry out a restoration, set to begin in early 2015. They are now looking to crowdfunding to source the remaining half ($95,000) and, in so doing, are inviting people from around the world to become part of the 720-year-long history of Santa Croce.

How Did Filippo Brunelleschi Construct the World's Largest Masonry Dome?

00:00 - 9 September, 2014

More than 500 years after it was built, Filippo Brunelleschi's dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy, remains the largest masonry dome ever built. Leaving no plans or sketches behind, some of the secrets of its construction that Brunelleschi pioneered are still an enigma today. This short animation, presented by National Geographic and created by Fernando Baptista and Matthew Twombly, gives an idea of how the dome of the Duomo might have been built. Demonstrating the complexity of the task, made harder due to poor construction prior to Brunelleschi's commission, this film serves as a reminder of just how long it can take to create something timeless.

Has The Surge Of Visitors to Museums & Galleries Reached A Tipping Point?

00:00 - 30 July, 2014
Has The Surge Of Visitors to Museums & Galleries Reached A Tipping Point?, Crowds around Da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre, Paris. Image © Guia Besana
Crowds around Da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre, Paris. Image © Guia Besana

In an article for the New York Times Rachel Donadio examines Masterworks vs. the Masses. From the Louvre in Paris to London's British Museum, Florence's Uffizi to the Vatican Museums, the increasing surge of visitors to these international cultural nodes "has turned many museums into crowded, sauna-like spaces." Balancing everyone's right to be "nourished" by cultural experiences with protecting and preserving the works of art in question is a very real problem. According to Donadio, "even when the art is secure, the experience can become irksome." With some museums seeing annual visitors of up to 6.7 million visitors (British Museum), addressing the issues faced by institutions that are a victim of their own success is becoming more and more pressing. Read the article in full here.

VIDEO: Solving the Mysteries of Brunelleschi's Dome

00:00 - 23 February, 2014

A new hour long documentary for PBS' series, Building the Great Cathedrals, explores the mystery of how, in the 15th century, Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi constructed one of the largest domes the world had ever seen. Winning what could be considered one of the earliest architectural competitions, Brunelleschi developed a unique system that allowed construction on the dome to occur while services were being conducted in the cathedral 100 metres below. The team in this episode model this freestanding structure in an attempt to understand just how Brunelleschi achieved such a feat of Renaissance engineering.

You can find out more about the film here. Please note that the film is only viewable through PBS within the USA. For those of you outside the USA, you can watch the 30 second preview above; for those in the USA, see the full video after the break...

TEDx: Fracture-Critical Design / Tom Fisher

19:00 - 14 September, 2012

Thomas Fisher, Professor in the School of Architecture and Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, discusses the subject matter of his most recent book, Designing To Avoid Disaster: The Nature of Fracture-Critical Design.

New Entrance of Careggi Hospital / IPOSTUDIO Architects

00:00 - 9 July, 2012
New Entrance of Careggi Hospital / IPOSTUDIO Architects, © Pietro Savorelli
© Pietro Savorelli

© Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli + 21

  • Architects

  • Location

    Via dei Leoni, 1, 50122 Florence, Italy
  • Project Architects

    Elio Di Franco, CSPE
  • Area

    7600.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2010
  • Photographs

Video: New Careggi Entrance / Ipostudio

04:00 - 2 June, 2012

The above video, filmed and edited by DUOSEGNO Visual Design, features a look into the new Careggi entrance in Florence, designed by Ipostudio which becomes the ‘gateway’ to the hospital campus as it acts as both an urban junction as well as an architectural presence. The new entrance does not just function as a door to get inside, but is an area for strolling, for spontaneous interaction, and a place which represents the intricacy of the largest hospital development in all of central Italy. Through a new ‘square’, a new archway for Florence, this covered plaza, which draws inspiration from the grand urban traditions of the Florentine porticos, allows for this to happen.

laRinascente Piazza della Repubblica / 1+1=1

11:00 - 26 November, 2011
Courtesy of 1+1=1
Courtesy of 1+1=1

The new extension designed by 1+1=1 Claudio Silvestrin Giuliana Salmaso architects and planners for laRinascente in Piazza della Repubblica, Florence, is conceived as a symbol of strength through the square, yet of lightness, in the detail of the Archangel’s wing in Filippo Lippi’s painting of the Annunciation. Visually, the new extension is floating above Palazzo del Trianon while preserving its authentic architectural structure. More images and project description after the break.

Santa Maria Novella Square / Uros Novakovic + Nevena Radojevic

17:00 - 1 January, 2011
Courtesy Uros Novakovic + Nevena Radojevic
Courtesy Uros Novakovic + Nevena Radojevic

The team of Uros Novakovic and Nevena Radojevic have shared with us their proposal for a Urban Design Contest in Florence, Italy which focuses specifically on the development of Santa Maria Novella Square. Additional images and a project description after the break.

San Piero a Sieve School / Fabio Capanni Workshop

00:00 - 3 November, 2010
San Piero a Sieve School / Fabio Capanni Workshop, © Christian Richters;  © Fabio Capanni
© Christian Richters; © Fabio Capanni

© Christian Richters;  © Fabio Capanni © Christian Richters;  © Fabio Capanni © Christian Richters;  © Fabio Capanni © Christian Richters;  © Fabio Capanni + 17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Florence, Italy
  • Design Team

    Fabio Capanni, Claudio, Marrocchi
  • Collaborators

    Stefano Servi
  • Structures

    Riccardo Papi
  • Contractor

    Edil F Due, Sacafati (SA)
  • Client

    Municipality of San Piero a Sieve
  • Area

    2600.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2008
  • Photographs

Ferrovie dello Stato Pavilion

12:30 - 25 August, 2010
Courtesy of Uros Novakovic and Renato Pucci
Courtesy of Uros Novakovic and Renato Pucci

Uros Novakovic and Renato Pucci, students of the Università di Firenze in Florence, Italy shared with us their temporary pavilion for the Italian national rail-transport company. You can see more images and architect’s description after the break.

University Students’ Housing and Services / C+S Associati

00:00 - 11 February, 2010
University Students’ Housing and Services / C+S Associati, Courtesy of  c+s associati
Courtesy of c+s associati

Courtesy of  c+s associati Courtesy of  c+s associati Courtesy of  c+s associati Courtesy of  c+s associati + 20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Florence, Italy
  • Project Team

    Carlo Cappai, Maria Alessandra Segantini
  • Structures & Plants

    Flatengingeneering e Maire Engineering Spa
  • Client

    Immobiliare Novoli Spa
  • Project Year

    2007