Type of project
Commercial and Residential Building
Corten Stell Restoration Building Stairs Virus Light Iconic
The new skylight of the former Cinema Moderno is perhaps the most comprehensive metaphor for the building’s complete interior renovation. The distinctive pointed building, a medieval “Flatiron Building” in the heart of Siena, opposite the historic Palazzo Tolomei, opens out onto the public square of the same name, creating a ‘Y’, symbolic of the city’s historical subdivision into thirds. This shape becomes the footprint on which the new rooftop lantern stands, an urban landmark, a contemporary virus that generates the new internal structure that is grafted onto a new compositional and distributive order.
The external walls, entirely constructed in exposed brick, with a stone base on the ground floor, provided the backdrop for the spectacular removal of all the superfluous material, completely emptying the entire volume in the end. After carrying out a detailed laser scan survey and a meticulous restoration the walls now act as a curtain covering a new metal structure that was inserted to support the current mixed-use of the building. The number of apartments in the residential section was kept low as the focus was on quality. The entrance to the commercial division is located at the bow of the building, on the ground floor, through the space between the first two arches, left open for public use. This space that is a gift to the city and brings to mind the ancient Greek stoa (covered walkway), a place for meetings, discussions, and cultural development.