Like a carpet, the historic square folds itself to host and regenerate the archaeological wonders of a roman domus.


Piazza Sordello

location: Mantova
client: Comune di Mantova
status: 2012, competition ex-aequo prize 
with: Tecnostudio impianti engineering (Doriano Torreggiani, Enrico Previdi), Ing. Riccardo Fontana
consultant: Lambda spa (Elisa Raffaelli)
collaborators: Alessandro Molesini, Irene Torreggiani
program: creation of a new protection for the archaeological finds and mosaics of Piazza Sordello domus romana and requalification of southern side of the square


The current and invasive "cube" that temporarily protects and musealizes the Roman Domus of Piazza Sordello is the most evident demonstration that any volumetric presence within this context is incongruous and is difficult to integrate into an environment that has found a his balance. This balance should not be disturbed. It is unthinkable, in our opinion, to solve the theme of the definitive musealization of the Domus excavations for conservation and use, adopting the approach of the container-case or cover, no matter how "transparent", because they would still be perceived as incongruous and therefore invasive objects of a consolidated equilibrium. To reconcile the protection of the square with the preservation of the excavations, the approach must be reversed by finding the elements from which to solve the problem of protection and musealization of the excavations in the characteristics of Piazza Sordello.

Piazza Sordello, among the most significant Italian squares, owes its extraordinary nature not so much to a unitary and organic design, consequence of a single historical period, as to the fact of being the result of continuous transformations over the centuries, until reaching the balance we admire today. But the element that gives unity and visual identity to the whole is the cobblestone flooring, seamlessly covering, like a carpet, the entire empty space defined by the fronts of the buildings facing it. And this is the element that gave us the reason to think about the solution of the Roman Domus excavation cover. Piazza Sordello does not look like a flat ground surrounded by buildings on the same level. Like a carpet that lies on the ground, the cobblestones have an altimetric structure that varies considerably from one point to another, reflecting the articulation of the surrounding buildings and supporting the topographical situation of the square, far from presenting itself as a plan. This arrangement gives complexity and identityto the large empty space that connects roads that are entered with an altimetric difference and draws the initial stretch of the "Route of the Prince" that connects Piazza Sordello and the Palazzo Ducale at Palazzo Te.