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Dignified restraint: reconstruction of an eight hundred year-old building in Pisa

30 Jun 2019

The Arsenali Repubblicani in Pisa, Italy.

Above: The Arsenali Repubblicani in Pisa, Italy.


For centuries, only ruins have hinted at the original structure and function of the "Tersana" north of the Arno River; the building was an extension of the city walls of Pisa. In the thirteenth century, the heyday of the ancient republic, ships were built and repaired here. A rhombus-shaped building that was subdivided by four parallel walkways, provided space for a dry dock in an artificial waterway that could be flooded, thus creating the connection with the Arno.

The city of Pisa invested nearly 4.5 million euros in the three-year reconstruction from the remains of the walls. To accomplish this, the architects Fabio Daole and Mario Pasqualetti had columns and arches built and put a new roof over the Arsenali. The construction concept was characterised by an intense examination of the cultural and historical background. And the result was the creation of a place which represents an 800 year-old building both inside and outside but which is now open and usable for exhibitions, for musical performances, and for other events. 


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