Studio NextBuild - Restoration and redevelopment of San Nicolò Church in Sicily, integrating art and architecture
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Restoration and redevelopment of San Nicolò Church in Sicily, integrating art and architecture

Studio NextBuild

Renovation  /  Future
Studio NextBuild

This small sacred space, archaic and almost devoid of decorative apparatuses, had to be "restored" not only in the matter but also in its liturgical vocation. The request for the relocation of the original works of art, now kept by the Regional Museum of Messina, has brought back the ancient lesson of integration between Art and Architecture. For this reason, the search for a renewal about the sacredness of the space has directed towards the synergistic collaboration with Alfredo Pirri: his work of art "floor standing", inspired by his series "Passi", defines through the game of reflections a meditative and "suspended" space: unprecedented in its integration of Art and Architecture.

The Chapel of San Nicola, from the second half of the seventeenth century, is part of the "Fondazione Barone Giuseppe Lucifero di S.Nicolò" estates. Located on the promontory of Capo Milazzo, it is an inseparable part of a "dense" landscape and cultural context, which embraces the facing Aeolian Islands, the Castle, the Grotta di Polifemo and all the other historical-cultural and naturalistic emergencies of the surrounding area. Its restoration is part of a more general redevelopment strategy pursued by the institution, aimed at enhancing a property considered "collective". The intent of the Foundation is to reintegrate the church, which is still consecrated today, in a strategy of modern use of the cultural heritage of the promontory.

The strategy of intervention is twofold:
- The conservative restoration of the monument, respecting the typological, formal and structural elements of the same, reintegrating those worn and damaged by time, eliminating unrelated elements, restoring reed suspended ceiling, wooden roof, altar, plasters and the few existing moldings, using natural and environmentally friendly materials, however agreed with the local Superintendence.
- The reconquest of a renewed identity, through an operation of spatial "rarefaction" that reaches the new and definitive relocation of ancient and modern works of art, and culminating in dry installation (therefore potentially reversible) and "floor standing" of Master Pirri.

The renewal of the sacred spatiality and of the figurative and spatial characters of the building, through the restoration of the material and the relocation of the ancient and important iconographic apparatus. The recovery of an ancient lesson, through the integration, in a restoration project, of Art and Architecture: the insertion of the work of art "floor standing" of Master Pirri, inspired by his series "Passi", laid dry on the pre-existing floor and ritually shattered by the artist, to magically reflect the space and the works contained in it, creating an atmosphere of mystical suspension. This work will be donated by the artist to the Foundation and will stand as one of the few examples of integration between modern art and historical architecture.

A project that re-evaluates and redevelops the role and heritage of the IPAB "Fondazione Barone Giuseppe Lucifero di S.Nicolò"-


 sacred space
 230 mq
  99,942.00 €
 Arch. Giovanni Fiamingo, Arch. Giovanna Russo, Arch. Domenica Benvenga
 Arch. Giovanni Fiamingo, Arch. Giovanna Russo, Arch. Domenica Benvenga, Artist Alfredo Pirri
 Puca Costruzioni


NextBuild is an architecture studio based in Milazzo, Sicily, founded in 2009 by Giovanni Fiamingo and now managed in partnership with Giovanna Russo.
The studio’s design research, oriented to the themes of architectural, urban and environmental redevelopment, explores the compositional aspects of the double relationship between Building and Earth Line, Architecture and Landscape, with insights on the themes of Subtraction, of the Negative, of the Complementary.
The projects and works have received numerous awards and have been shown in national and international exhibitions, conferences and publications about architecture.

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