Cavallerizza Reale, Turin
Cavallerizza Reale, Turin

Architecture and landscape design: CZA-Cino Zucchi Architetti
Conservation and restoration, structural, mechanical and electrical design, construction safety, quantity surveys, BIM, sustainability: Politecnica
Space planning and layout: Tiemme
Digital strategies and User Experience Design: Dotdotdot
Participative processes: Stratosferica
Conservation and restoration: Alberto Artioli Valentina Capra (architect)
Render: Wolf Visualization Agency

“Compagnia di San Paolo, Università degli Studi di Torino and the City of Turin, in agreement with the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, intend to create a cultural center on an international level in the center of the city, with the purpose of conserving and restoring – in a spirit of sustainability, and with the use of the most advanced technologies – the entirety of the Cavallerizza Reale, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997.”

Thus explained the international guidelines announced in 2022 for the regeneration of the prestigious and very central area of the Cavallerizza Reale, designed in 1740 inside the “command zone” of the Baroque capital by the “Primo Architetto Regio” Benedetto Alfieri, with the purpose of hosting the riding exercises and equestrian entertainments of the Savoy court. Thoroughly transformed in 1840 by the architect Ernest Melano, the area was bombed in 1943 and then abandoned.

The jury chaired by Michele De Lucchi has chosen Cino Zucchi as the winner of the competition, while assigning an honorable mention for its philosophical approach to the French firm of Lacaton et Vassal. With a forceful focus on the ecologically virtuous possibilities intrinsic to the theme of reuse, the project by the Milan-based firm CZA attempts to facilitate dialogue among the various users, in a process of ‘urban acupuncture’ in which specific interventions are made to host cultural, work and recreation functions.

The North and South Stables become exhibition spaces, the Manica Semplice becomes a new café in the courtyard of the university, the Horse Guards building becomes an auditorium, while the Cavallerizza Alfieriana – the core of the project – hosts an experimental theater and other cultural spaces.

Connected by a sharp new glass gallery, the two parallel buildings of the haylofts welcome a wellness area, showrooms, workshops and flexible workspaces, and the Ala del Mosca will contain the new headquarters of the historic Compagnia di San Paolo.

To create an osmotic and permeable relationship with the city, CZA has paid particular attention to the redesign of pathways and public space, also thanks to new furnishings and plantings, recovering the junction of the Rotonda Castellamontiana and the axis of the Passaggio Chiablese.

Semicircular canopies in oxidized bronze mark the entrances to the various parts, while a new plaza between the Ala del Mosca and the Pagliere haylofts functions as an “entrance vestibule” for the Gardens. Glass and oxidized metal set the tone of the roofing and the facades of all the new elements, which “in ideal continuity with a ‘Turinese modern’ style, simultaneously experimental and sophisticated, will not attempt to imitate the historic forms of the existing structure, but will at the same time avoid a facile ‘poetics of dissonance.”