LDArchitects - Cover of the Domus Affreschi, simple structures to reinterpret the original volumes of the Domus
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Cover of the Domus Affreschi, simple structures to reinterpret the original volumes of the Domus


Renovation  /  Completed

The main idea was to provide simple structures that reinterpret the original volumes of the Domus equipped with large roofs (including a transparent one over the garden of 4, 8, 12 and 16 m.) with the main function of protecting from rain and wind the Roman-era mosaics on the site. All the structures consist of a galvanized steel "mecha" covered with cortén steel that does not include any foundation in the ground. In fact, the entire structure simply rests on the ground and the existing perimeter walls. The walkways where visitors can access also serve the function of ballast as well as containing drainage channels for water from the roofs that descends in channels hidden in the corten steel septa.

The Domus of the frescoes is located within an archaeological area, one of the most visited in Liguria. The project therefore sought to articulate the volumes in such a way that they would fit into the texture of the masonry also present on the sides of the Domus and still visible, and, thanks to the use of corten steel, they would delicately fit into the flat landscape of the archaeological area that laps the sea but is characterized in the background by the presence of the white mountains of Carrara Marble. Deliberately, the design of the Domus provided for less permeability of the north, east and west fronts (from which the wind arrives most) while opening to the scenery of the Ligurian Sea on the south side.

The Domus degli affreschi roofing project concerns the protection of an archaeological site of extraordinary value, unique in Liguria. The intervention, following the principles of monument restoration, could be reversible by not involving masonry or C.A. works but only steel structures (including cortèn cladding), fiber cement panels, and listotek flooring simply leaning against the structure, gray/white in color reminiscent of the color of the pavements present in the archaeological area.

The main objectives of the project, as highlighted in the design diagrams and as requested by the client, were to protect the mosaics of the Domus degli Affreschi from the sun, water and wind, envisaging a contemporary structure that did not need to provide for foundations in the ground but as self-contained and removable as possible. The roof has a total area of 900 square meters. In this direction, the project envisions a structure simply resting on the ground made entirely of steel with three different roofs with a span of 8, 16 and 12 meters, supported by the weight of the structures placed along the walkways where visitors can access. On the sides, at the existing masonry the cortèn steel volume is then simply supported without providing any kind of graft in the ground. This concept has been developed through a complex structural model involving a mecha of beams (of the plinths and roofs), columns and connecting plates that make the whole structure a self-contained element that does not conflict with the existing buildings. Water, is then collected from all the eaves channels of the roofs and conveyed into channels running under the walkways of the exhibition route, which in turn convey water into the main channel of the archaeological area.

The intervention was commissioned by the Regional Secretariat of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Genoa, but was made possible by the great synergy of work with the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio for the metropolitan city of Genoa and the province of La Spezia and the Ligurian Museums Regional Directorate.


 Ortonovo (SP), archaeological area of Luni
 Segretariato Regionale del Ministero dei Beni e delle attività Culturali e del Turismo, via Balbi 10, Genova
 Archaeological Museum
 900 mq
  400,000.00 €
 Arch. Luca Dolmetta
 Arch. Silvia Rizzo, Arch. Helias Hurtado
 Tassistro Gian Bruno s.r.l. Via Cavanna 1 - 16018 Mignanego (GE)
 Ing. Andrea Pepe (structure)
 Arch. Aldo Amoretti


Ldarchitects is founded by Luca Dolmetta in 1993 after work experience at the Federico Oliva Associati firm in Milan.
Since its inception, the firm has been involved in interventions on existing buildings, particularly restoration of listed properties.
L. Dolmetta has done academic work at the Faculty of Architecture in Genoa with Prof. Bruno Gabrielli and Prof. Musso obtaining a PhD in Building and Environmental Restoration in 1999. He has been invited to give lectures at the Politecnico di Milano and at many conferences having as their subject the topic of restoration and sustainable mobility.
From 2020 to 2023, he is Director of the Urban Regeneration, Urban Center and Historical Center Department at the City of Genoa.
The firm has been awarded PAI (2012), IN/ARCH ANCE (2014), Silver Medal of the Domus International Prize, Restoration and Preservation (2015), EcotechGREEN Award (2018), Landscape Award, MIBAC Landscape Award Citation (2019).


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