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Torre Littoria Residences

An Unexpected View Over the City

Benedetto Camerana (Camerana&Partners)

Torre Littoria Residences
By Caterina Testa -

The Reale Mutua Tower rises in the midst of the rigid orthogonal grid that encloses the predominantly Baroque historic center of Turin, northwest Italy. Towering over the central Piazza Castello, Torre Littoria - as it was then called - was designed by Antonio Melis and built in 1934 to house offices and private apartments, in its day arousing as much heated debate as would the much later interventions by Massimiliano Fuksas and Renzo Piano.

Clearly referencing Italian Rationalism and German Expressionism, the 19-story tower was conceived as a symbol of technological innovation, the ideological counterpart to the city’s symbolic
19th Century monumental brick tower, Mole Antonelliana. For years its original program remained unchanged until the owner, insurance company Reale Mutua, started thinking about possible future use, carrying out several projects down the years that have led to the tower we see today.

In 2003, Benedetto Camerana designed his own apartment on the 13th floor, adopting distribution and technical solutions that completely overturned the original floor plan and showed the tower’s great adaptive reuse potential. In 2011, a competition was launched for the design of a lounge bar on the top two floors and a restaurant with a terrace on the 8th story overlooking the main square. Won by Camerana’s architecture practice, the program was vetoed by the city’s superintendent in charge of cultural heritage and had to be abandoned.

Setting aside the ambitious project to open the tower up to the public, in 2017 the owner held another competition to transform some stories into luxury apartments that the company would then let out. Benedetto Camerana again won the competition and was assigned the brief. The project started by designing just one floor along the lines of the layout of the architect’s home as an example of the basic residential model to be...

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