Type of project





White Corten Steel Glass Cement Wood Restoration Alphabet Staircases Virus Arts Plaster



AND N.24


Pietro Savorelli

René Riller




Siena, Italy

For several years, the Contrada della Tartuca Museum has been working on an ambitious project to restore its building in Via Tommaso Pendola, the oldest part of Siena’s historic centre.

It is a long urban strip divided into small building units, characterised by a lack of homogeneous architectural quality.

These properties, created and remodelled over the years for various uses, appear to be decaying and functionally dead structures. Therefore, the project envisages the insertion of new three-dimensional elements capable of demolishing the pre-existing logic.

As a public client, the Contrada aims to create a vital and contemporary venue capable of providing new opportunities for bringing together cultural artefacts and creativity, in keeping with its traditional role as a progressive guardian of memory and coherent with the most recent debates on the role of museums today. It is a museum that goes beyond mere museumisation, a museum interacting with the Contrada members and its visitors through a strong communicative and didactic expressiveness.

The large glass door of the main entrance to this museum is located in Via Tommaso Pendola. Passing through it, visitors follow a network of itineraries that reveal the authentic internal urban fabric. This prevalently introverted architecture is expressed in the main façade, where an old brick wall has been demolished and replaced by a large “urban reliquary” made from a single large sheet of glass, overturning the hierarchical sense of utilisation.

Similarly, an old access point has also been reopened to the rear of the structure, which gives access to these properties from the Vicolo della Tartuca, restoring the memory of an ancient urban shortcut that can be seen in many historical maps of the city.

These two designs on the façades precisely embody the VIRUS technique, i.e., the injection of a foreign organism, in terms of shape and materials, with the power to revitalise unsuitable units. In this case, the project begins with the two façades and the relationship they create with the urban fabric.

01.Photo Report

02.Technical Report