Extension of San Mauro Cemetery in Turin
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Extension of San Mauro Cemetery in Turin

Raimondo Guidacci

Extension of San Mauro Cemetery in Turin
Edited By Francesco Pagliari -

The cemetery extension is underpinned by an architectural approach focusing strictly on essentiality. This place of the dead has a sense of contemporary monumentality and the efficacy of the symbolism conveys recollection and memory. The essential nature of the extension produces a place for remembering in which silence and concentration are manifest values in a sizeable but not overpowering built area. Amid the totality of images, the purity of the lines brings elegance. The extension consists of two three-storey volumes in an L-shape, opening onto a trapezoidal courtyard where the full-height pillars, defined by the use of material and technical requirements, clearly influence the rhythm. This design is fundamental in defining and expressing the straightforward, communicative nature of this space and in interpreting the profound emotions of those people who come here. The first part of the extension has been completed and it combines structure and materials, with compositional, visual and perspective rigour. The rectangular load-bearing pillars are made of reinforced concrete and clad, for nearly their entire height, in Cor-ten steel panels that add depth. The interior sides of these pillars are left in exposed concrete, forming a visual and material relationship between different elements in the covered section. From here, the rhythmic but somewhat fleeting views of the Cor-ten sheets as one walks around suggest a multi-faceted view of time that, in a sense, is reinforced by the rusty colour and rugged surface of this material. Moreover, this flittering view interacts dynamically with the concrete underside of the roof, the formwork and the grey flooring. By contrast, the sand-blasted surfaces of the Carrara marble slates used for the burial niches create tangible continuity, a sort of luminescent, homogeneous reflection on the inner façade and the corridors running perpendicular to the perimeter. These are also physically separated from the ceilings and flooring by a band of exposed concrete. Similarly, the Cor-ten sheets do not cover the full height of the pillars. A 3cm clearance separates the coating from both the ceiling and the floor, introducing further distinctions in the elements of the composition. The outer perimeter is highlighted on the northern end of the structure by a wall clad completely in Apuan grey marble, which has a veined, changeable effect with an ethereal sense. The eastern end is clad in large Cor-ten steel sheets in a staggered pattern. The western side is characterised by the main staircases. The second stage of the extension will start from here, as might be deduced by the absence of steel sheets on the side of the pillar. Elegance is the essence of this architectural design, which turns the interaction between individual elements into a sequence of fleeting, yet lasting impressions that converge in the square outline created by the overhanging roof and continue with the rhythm of the pillars that is extended by the row of cypress trees.
Francesco Pagliari

Location: San Mauro Torinese, Torino
Client: Comune di San Mauro Torinese
Completion: 2011
Architects: Raimondo Guidacci
Design Team: Francesco Negri, Nadia Saglietti
Contractor: ICF Impresa di costruzioni Ferrara

Structural, Plant: Arching - Stefano De Pippo
Geological: Andrea Valente Arnaldi Suppliers
Decorative Work: Sikkens
Paving: Pavesmac
Marble: Venturino Marmi
Roof Flashing: Rheinzink
Lighting: SBP

Photography: © Beppe Giardino

Raimondo Guidacci 
Raimondo Guidacci (Foggia 1968) graduated in architecture at the Venice IUAV (under Carlo Magnani). At the same time he passed out of the Benedetto Marcello Conservatoire of Music.
In 1996 he opened a professional practice at Orsara in Puglia and in 1998 at Turin. From 1995 to 2005 he teamed up with Emanuele Levi Montalcini at the Turin Polytechnic Architecture Faculty, Architectural Design Laboratories, where he was assistant to Guido Martinero from 1996 to 1999.
Some of his works have been featured in specialist journals and awarded prizes in architecture, including certain exhibitions and shows. Publications of note: the Casabella Almanacchi; the book edited by Marco Mulazzani Italian Architects, the new generation, published by Electa in 2006; as well as specialist reviews like The Plan, Abitare, Costruire, D’Architettura, C3.
His plan for two houses in Puglia was picked for the Cosenza Award 2004 and the Barbara Cappochin Award 2007 in the category of “best international works”; it won the INARCH/ANCE prize 2008 for the category “work by a young professional”; it was an architecture prize-winner at the Premio di architettura per la Capitanata 2010 awarded by the Roll of Architects for the Province of Foggia.
He alternates in his professional practice between his native Puglia and Piemonte where he now lives.


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