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San Filippo Neri Care Home

The newfound meaning

Picco architetti

The small provincial town of Lanzo lies 35 km northwest of Turin, northeast Italy, at the convergence of four valleys known collectively as the Lanzo Valleys. Given its key position, Lanzo was an economic, social and cultural hub from the Middle Ages onward, the fortress on the ridge of Mont Buriasco at the confluence of two rivers dominating the surrounding area. This Medieval fortress was later turned into a monastery of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin from 1602 to 1802, then into a municipal boarding school until 1857 and subsequently, from 1984 to 1997, into the Salesian College of San Filippo Neri, the Order’s first important project outside Turin. That the former college had lain abandoned until recently is emblematic of the general institutional, economic and social decline of the whole area in the last twenty years as it lost strategic importance. However, in 2017, the Santa Croce Group, an experienced healthcare company, contracted the Turin practice of Picco architetti to transform the San Filippo Neri complex into an old people’s home. The project extended well beyond the restoration and reuse of an ancient structure to become part of a drive to revitalize and return the whole area to the mainstream. Started in the 1990s, Picco architetti has long experience in both urban and individual scale architectural projects, and is very familiar with different types of collective and social residential projects, all of which testify to their keen focus on morphologic quality, and respect for what already exists while delivering modern-day comfort and economic sustainability. Transforming a 19th Century building that is part of a wider urban context into a residential home meant working within the constraints imposed by the pre-existing structures and urban fabric but also complying with the specific regulations governing buildings destined for the healthcare sector. Structural, architectural and legal constraints were therefore part and parcel...

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