Michael DelValle

Michael DelValle

Derry, NH, US


Piazza Rucellai (spring 2009)

Piazza Rucellai is a small triangular square in the center of Florence, Italy. Within this square/triangle is Palazzo Rucellai and its loggia, both designed by Leon Battista Alberti between 1446 and 1451. The façade of the Palazzo, proclaiming the new ideas of the Renaissance through the proportional relationships of pilasters and entablatures, has been left unfinished. This can be seen by the jagged connection of this façade with its neighbor. The assignment is to finish the 8th bay of this façade.

The loggia, now home to a furniture store, has been respectfully retrofitted with inset glass and minimal steel detailing.

Taking note of this minimalism in the loggia, the design of the 8th bay will also feature glass and steel. Strengthening the connection between the palazzo and the loggia further is the etching of the family emblems, found on the frieze of the loggia, on the 8th bay glass.

The big move for this design, however, is not minimalism but a revelation. The façade of Palazzo Rucellai, although appearing to be made of large thick stones, is actually only a veneer. As a result the design proceeds to warp this thin surface in the 8th bay, displaying the superficial nature of this façade.

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Status: School Project
Location: Firenze, IT