CRYPTA BALBI

“What is the role of references for an architecture student? How can we use them effectively in our projects without falling into error? ”. According to Professor Varagnoli, history is a prolific repository of projects to be re-read and brought back to life for the creation of our mindset. However, this is only possible under two conditions: selection and listening. Each program has its own specificities, which must be considered and respected, making the monument "sit on the couch" to understand which mode of action is in accordance with its needs and thus create unique solutions. Hence the choice of guiding projects with starting points similar to the case in question. In addition, to overcome the initial gap between theoretical knowledge and design practice, the ability to know how to read the chosen quotation is strictly necessary: culture offers us the tools to frame and know the logic and signals of a work; Putting these coordinates to the scrutiny of critics, then, allows us to ask ourselves key questions to understand the past and evaluate what the strategies of the future might be. One day I read: “What you inherit from your fathers, regain it, to possess it”, or make it yours, analyze it thoroughly (Goethe). I am also very struck by the thought of Cesare Brandi, according to which a work is not a total, made up of single parts, but a whole, so that each of its components reconstructs its basic logic. This underlines the importance of following a common thread, a desire I would say, which holds all the elements of a project together, establishing a relationship between them. The restoration is made up of relationships, in particular of relationships between the different eras that have followed one another in the life of a factory. During the interview the prof stressed several times on the importance of the work of a restorer, which lies precisely in considering all the phases of a monument, connecting them to each other and creating a dialogue. Exemplary from this point of view is the restoration project of the Crypta Balbi in Rome, a complex archaeological site that winds around a lowered arcaded square, the crypt, surrounded by shops, which once represented a real place of meeting for all citizens. The complexity of the project derives from the coexistence of buildings dating back to different eras: each of them has been restored following the most appropriate method, but all have been inserted in a general framework in which they reinforce each other: the modern intervention is not in contradiction with the ancient, indeed it completes it, or even steps aside to bring out the millenary constructive wisdom. Furthermore, an itinerant itinerary concretizes this union, and guides the visitor on a journey through time in which each block is a piece of the overall stratigraphy. The resulting landscape is reminiscent of the streets of the Sovana Necropolis, in central Italy, where undulating plains that seem in line with each other, with large trees at the edges, actually hide deep gorges, carved out by rivers, which create a world apart and invite us to have a different look and perceive things from different perspectives.