This is Borgo Hermada: a small village within a city
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This is Borgo Hermada: a small village within a city

The project recomposes the urban fabric of a hillside neighborhood of Turin, recovering the complex of a former convent and some 18th century villas

+studio architetti | Mediapolis Engineering | TRA Architetti

This is Borgo Hermada: a small village within a city
By Editorial Staff -
Ceramiche Keope, Ceramica Vogue have participated in the project

The former convent of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd stood in the foothills of Turin, next to the neogothic church of San Massimo.  The complex was composed of four buildings, arranged to form a small hamlet around a central courtyard and immersed in the park of the hill leaning towards the city: the 18th century Villa Angelica, the Palazzo Redentore, built at the beginning of the 1900s, and two small rural buildings, the San Martino house and the vineyard house.

The project by Mediapolis Engineering, in collaboration with + Studio Architetti and TRA Architetti, sought to mend the relationship between the complex and the surrounding urban fabric, harmonizing and rebalancing the buildings in relationship with each other and the context.


An interplay of solids and voids

Borgo Hermada, +studioarchitetti, TRA Architetti e Mediapolis Engeneering ©Fabio Oggero, courtesy of the studios

The project included the conversion of Palazzo Redentore and Villa Angelica for residential purposes, with the construction of two new volumes on the eastern portion of the lot.

At the urban planning level, the buildings are completely independent and connected by the central courtyard. Marked by gardens and internal pathways, it serves both as the common space between the buildings and as the connection with the street, creating a hybrid space between the public and private sphere – a kind of intimate, enclosed piazza and an urban space with a reinforced bond to its context. The courtyard offers pedestrian access to all the buildings of the complex, thanks to the winding pathways within it that are flanked by a brick wall and delightful green corners.

An exposed brick base was created as an element of continuity between all the buildings, both within the courtyard and on the façades facing the street. This element also connects the large walls that characterize the first portion of Strada Val San Martino. Against this architectural backdrop, it is possible to see one of the most distinctive features of the project: the interplay of solids and voids, modulated both for compositional and aesthetic purposes. On the base, for example, is a sequence of pilasters and openings that gives rhythm to the front, making possible the creation of inward slots and niches for nighttime illumination of the façade.

>>> Discover Lomellina House, another residential project


Different architectural languages

Borgo Hermada, +studioarchitetti, TRA Architetti e Mediapolis Engeneering ©Fabio Oggero, courtesy of the studios

Distinct architectural languages were used in the redevelopment of Palazzo Redentore and Villa Angelica.

For the first, a minimalist and contemporary style was chosen, especially towards the exterior, where a light plaster volume looms over the base, echoing the geometric scansion of the pilasters through tall and narrow openings that follow the original proportions with slight misalignments. The interior façade, designed to be in stylistic dialogue with the apse of the church, is marked by the regular mesh of steel terraces, which run along the entire length of the façade and feature horizontal brick brise soleil elements. Rounding out the elevated composition of the building are the fronts at the sides of the building, characterized by a traditional double sloping pitch and hollowed out by loggias clad in natural wood from which to enjoy sweeping view of Turin.

The intervention on Villa Angelica was different, featuring a press-bent, pre-painted and backlit sheet metal façade and a new forebody that emphasizes the symmetry of the original volumes, reproposing the original wood doors and windows, string courses and pilasters.

Finally, the two smaller buildings mark the eastern boundary of the lot and mark a change of scale in the proportions, mediating a transition between city and hill, with small volumes articulated and clad in light gray plaster.


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Location: Turin, Italy
Client: Compagnia Immobiliare Hermada
Architects: Mediapolis Engineering with + Studio Architetti and TRA Architetti
Main Contractor Cogefa spa Costruzioni Generali

Ceramiche Keope, Ceramica Vogue

Photography: © Fabio Oggero courtesy of Mediapolis Engineering

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