The Grazie halls of residence are in the old heart of Udine, near the castle, right next to the famous old cloister and the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin of Grace. The restoration and refurbishment of these halls, along with the addition of a new building, form part of a larger project to restore 1950s and 60s buildings designed by the architect Luciano Ria. The edifices created by Ria housed students and lodgings for young priests as well as being used for a number of other educational and parish activities. The whole project is an essential part of actively and progressively ensuring the centre remains a lively, central point in the city. The creation of student housing, with single and double rooms, common areas and a conference room along with the significant amount of work needed to transform the old Roma cinema into a 300-seater auditorium are meant to help conserve functions that are vital for the old centre.
The project lasted from 2007 to 2011 and involved a careful examination of the courtyard space created by Luciano Ria's buildings, which have a clear rationalist imprint influenced by the ideas about expression that emerged in the post-war period. Ria's use of composition and expression was safeguarded by carefully restoring the north and south facades of the student halls on Via Pracchiuso, where the key compositional elements are the horizontal face brick sections, the bands of reinforced concrete, the continuous glazing and the transom band. The restoration of the partitions was flanked by the transformation of the top of the building following the creation of a common room, with an upper band of large windows. Rationalism guided the organisation of the single and double student rooms (including those for disabled students), focusing on acoustic insulation between rooms and between the rooms and the central corridor.
The building adjacent to the cloister with its north elevation overlooking the courtyard was partially demolished and rebuilt as well as being altered. The elevations are reinterpreted and given a formal, sculpted sense that highlights the angular theatrical "wings" along the facade. This succession of vertical elements determines the rhythm, but they are not merely components of the facade as they appear to stand just in front of it. The auditorium was at the core of the project and required radical transformation work. The result was a multi-purpose hall - theatre, concert venue, cinema - without any internal pillars and walls that provide insulation, fireproofing and decoration. The creation of this hall also necessitated the addition of a new volume, namely the longitudinal building housing the foyer that is right against the main building. The dominant feature is the rising canopy, accompanied by a smaller prism that resembles a "lantern". The architectural reinforced concrete provides further accents and creates a degree of compositional distance between the foyer and the restored/altered buildings that lends the new volume a sense of independence.
Client: Provincia Veneta dell’Ordine dei Servi di Maria
Gross Floor Area: 4530 m2
Cost of Construction: 7.500.000 Euros
Architects: AArchitects – Carlo Toson, Simone Mocchiutti
Architectural: Flora Ruchat-Roncati
Structural: Maurizio Meroi
Acoustic: Eleonora Strada
PVC Flooring: Gerflor
Aluminium Doors and Window Frames: all.co
Bathroom Accessories: INDA
Ceramic Flooring: Marazzi
Steel Door and Window Frames: Secco Sistemi
Photography: 1/4-12-13 © Massimo Crivellari, 5/11 © Silvia Toma, 12-13 © Francesco Montico
In 1983 graduated from the IUAV of Venice, lives and works in Udine. Among the major works: construction and renovation of hotels in Italy, the Middle East, the Canary Islands and Russia. (Amra Hotel Amman, Cannaregio Venice, Florida Hotel and other Lignano Sabbiadoro); construction and renovation of office buildings in Italy, Austria and Russia (Vienna Donau Bank, Inkom Bank Moscow, Office Consult Buttrio and others); construction and renovation of houses in Italy, the Middle East and Russia. Construction and renovation of residences for students with auditorium Italy and Russia (University Residence delle Grazie - Udine, the Central Bank Educational Department of Tula, Russia and others); construction of infrastructure at the regional level (Cable Car Lussari Tarvisio); preparation and design of the model of “albergo diffuso” in Carnia since 1982. In 2001 he founded together with Biljana Dzeloska and Simone Mocchiutti the AArchitects. Since 2009 teacher at Master of Yacht Design at IUAV.
Biljana Dzeloska was born in Ohrid (Macedonia). She studied Economics from 1983 and got her degree in 1987 at the University of Skopje . In 1986 she worked at BNL bank in Lisbon. In 1992-95 she was g.m. assistant at the International Society SYTCO, in Lugano, Switzerland. From 1993 to 2000 she was marketing manager at the architecture and engineering firm AKROPLAN Contractors of Udine, Italy. She is marketing manager at AArchitects since 2001.
Simone Mocchiutti was born in Palmanova (Udine - Italy) in 1971. He studied architecture from 1990 to 1995 at IUAV Venice and in 1996 at ETH Zurich with Prof. Flora Ruchat-Roncati. He graduated in Venice in 1997. Since 1998, together with Carlo Toson, works on architectural projects for both hotel and residential investments in Italy and abroad. Among the major projects, Hotel Cannaregio in Venice, Hotel Florida in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Hotel Savoia in Arta Terme and Hotel Firenze in Bibione. To be mentioned also the office building for Consult in Buttrio (Ud) and Pelizzo house in Faedis (Ud).