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Two Days in Padova

May 10, 2014

Just a few pictures taken with my phone at the fringes of the General Assembly of the Architects’ Council of Europe in Padova, 24th-25th of April.

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Walking along some masterpieces of Architettura Razionalista in the city centre towards the Assembly’s venue. The white building below was built under the fascist regime for the INPS (National Institute for Social Security).

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The building was designed 1933-34 by arch. Gino Peressutti and completed in 1937. Full documentation about this building and other examples of 20th century architecture in Padova in Adriana Tiso’s very comprehensive website Padova un caso studio.

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Above, Torre dell’orologio in Piazza dei Signori. Below Salone del palazzo della Gran Guardia where the assembly was hosted by the Municipality of Padova.  In the picture Danilo Vespier is introducing a project of RPBW in Trento, Le albere.

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Stairway leading to the exhibition space at “Palazzo della Ragione”, an amazing venue for the Renzo Piano Building Workshop exhibition. Every two years Giuseppe “Pino” Cappochin is organising in Padova a prestigious international architecture award and the winner is invited for a dedicated exhibition.

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Each one of the 20 tables of the exhibition (open until the 15th of July) tells the story of a project by Renzo Piano with drawings, photographs, maquettes and videos. An excellent exhibition documenting a permanent anti-dogmatic search for balance between social engagement and building industry, technology and tradition, elitism and pop culture, functionalism and expression.

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My friend Serban Tiganas, president of the Chamber of Architects in Romania, spotted out of the exhibition off for a walk in town. First stop at the exhibition of the projects awarded by the previous Cappochin awards: Mario Botta, David Chipperfield, Zaha Hadid but also some other less well known excellent architects. The pictures lay on huge blocks of yellow stone of Vicenza according to the exhibition design concept of RPBW.

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A walk in Padova should not leave out a coffee at Pedrocchi and a visit at the Basilica del Santo. In this case, due to the national holiday, the Sanctuary was very crowded.

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Here I am in front of the Basilica and Donatello’s Gattamelata equestrian monument.

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In the late afternoon we went to Vicenza to visit the Laboratorio Morseletto where I took some snapshots of stones and machines.

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I like these machine much more than sportscar and these steel hardware more than jewels.

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Then we went to the quarries under the Colli Berici where the Stone of Vicenza (yellow, grey or white limestone) is extracted since centuries.

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Here is the place where we had an unforgettable dinner, hosted by Laboratorio Morseletto. They were so kind and so discrete, they not even took the floor before or during the dinner. A rare example of  elegance and generosity.

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