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  3. The Plan 118 [11-2019]


Refined renovation

Peter Jaeger Architetti

Enclosed within Turin’s rigid orthogonal grid lies the city’s oldest nucleus, the Quadrilatero Romano, whose more tightly knit road system was laid out by the ancient Romans. The extension of the original Roman settlement is still clearly visible today from the change in section and character of the streets and squares just beyond the Roman Quarter.

Along Via Cernaia, the street forming the southern border of the old quarter, La Marmora gardens stand in front of Palazzo della Luce, a monumental eclectic early 20th-Century building echoing Palazzo Madama by Filippo Juvarra in nearby Piazza Castello. The sumptuously ornamented façade topped with magnificent sculptures, the elegant atrium, grand staircases and exquisite materials put it on a par with the best of Turin’s Baroque palazzi. Designed in 1915 by architect Ceresa as the headquarters of a bank, the building had a chequered history right from the start, changing hands as early as 1925 even before completion to become the offices of SIP, Piedmont’s Hydroelectric Company, which completed the building and used it as offices. Indeed it was from Palazzo della Luce that the very first public radio broadcasts in Italy were made. With the nationalization of the energy industry in the 1960s, the building became the property of the state company, Enel, until its recent purchase by a realty group, which commissioned the restoration and adaptive re-use project.

The Turin firm Peter Jaeger Architetti followed the project from the preliminary feasibility studies through to execution. Of the many possibilities mooted, the choice fell on the plan to turn Palazzo della Luce’s 21,000 sq. m into a mix of state-of-the-art offices, facilities open to the public, and exclusive residential units.

The sumptuous original architecture and its central position made the building the obvious choice for prestigious offices and venues but also for high-end...

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