Atrium Catalogue

Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes

of the XXth Century in Urban Management

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Home Object Catalogue Cloister of San Mercuriale

Cloister of San Mercuriale

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Piazza Saffi, City of Forlì
Emilia Romagna, Italy

The monumental complex of San Mercuriale is the most important in Forlì. At the beginning of the 20th century, the basilica underwent some transformation in the façade and bell tower separation; later on, following the construction of the Post Office, the parvis steps were also modified. In the 1930s, at the time when works were being carried out in the adjoining lot occupied by the old Inland Revenue Office, it was decided to ““to stop the spoilage going on in the old cloister, to tear down the walls concealing the view of the harmonious courtyard, porticoes and classical tank; to protect the arcades by means of an artistic gate and make this place a temple and altar, to pay tribute to the immortal spirit of the Martyrs of the Nation” (Casadei, 1928). Entrusted with the said project, Gustavo Giovannoni decided to tear down the curtain walls enclosing the cloister and to rebuild the parts overlooking Piazza Saffi where too many interventions were clearly visible. His main idea was to create a passageway connecting Piazza Saffi to Piazza XX Settembre at the back of it, by building an additional portico wing. The arches of the portico facing Piazza Saffi were moved back. Started as a restoration work, in the end the intervention resulted in a completely new complex built by neglecting historical techniques and widely using contemporary technologies for the construction of new columns, cross-vaults and reinforced concrete slabs, clay/cement mix floors etc