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Colonia Fara

Project Description

The complex, named after General Gustavo Fara, was a project of engineer Camillo Nardi Greco (1887-1968) in collaboration with the architect Lorenzo Castello. The construction lasted a short period of about four months: new reports of the time state that the work was completed as early as September of 1935. The building was inaugurated on October 28th of 1935 and has been in use since 1936.
The building is arranged diagonally on the trapezoidal lot, as if, with this eastward angle, it wants to naturally turn to the first rays of sun. In this manner, the monolith of the tower has stood out for almost eighty years against the backdrop of the nearest hill, Collina delle Grazie, and the wide arc of Tigullio. In the mind of the designer, there was perhaps the shape of an airplane, of a steamer, or of a sailing ship about to be launched, which was quite normal for these places in Chiavari in the early twentieth century.
In hindsight, the simplicity of this building still hits as a disruptive and never dormant innovation: the vertebrae of this tower appear today elegantly projected into the future and at the same time discreetly “alien” in comparison to the historical context of the surrounding villas, sanctuaries, and olive groves.
The uses of this building in the postwar period led to a number of internal problems. The abandonment of this building, starting in 1999, caused great decay.
The project involves a full restoring of the building as well as a general restructuring of the internal arrangement, introducing, in the 11 levels of the tower, a residential set-up and in the two lower levels of the main body, there will be a hotel with 35 rooms, a bar, and a restaurant, as well as two atria for main activities. At the seaside, consisting of a breakwater and a cliff, there will be a public promenade with cabins (around 100) located on the level below. A wellness center (around 1,000 m2) and a parking garage (around 3,756 m2) located underground will complete the renovation.
The garden will be dotted with palm trees placed along radial axes of plants that branch ideally from the center of the spectacular curved portal at the west entrance. The abstract concept is marked by simplicity that focuses clarity on appreciating a series of prospective scopes of various areas of intervention: on the looming geometry of the tower, on the sleek curved body of the lower levels, on the tip of Manara in the distance, until dissolving into a landscape of vegetation at the level of the gardens.
About twenty meters away from this historic building, which is on the eastern edge of where Nardi Greco made a large cement portal, there is offered a reinterpretation of the same portal in the form of an arbor to protect the entrance of the wellness center (around 1,000 m2), defined by glass walls. The arbors introduced in the project both for the covering of the new body and for the terraces of the tower that represent the characteristics of rationalist mediation, refined and intangible, defining the construction around the landscape. We find that the Colonia Fara’s arbors provide shade for the roof garden and the parterre, attempting a modern interpretation of this classic figure of Mediterranean architecture, which the Modern Movement has received with open hands.

 

Project Details

Client Fara S.r.l.
Location Chiavari (Genoa)
Year 2016
Typology Urban redevelopment and restoration
With Studio Tecnico Associato GEOIDE
Collaborators Carla Coccia, Chantal Cattaneo, Enrico Marchetti, Jan Smekal, Katerina Krkoskova, Angelo Del Vecchio, Giulia Parodi
Outdoor structures Giordano Tironi, Cristiana Serra Zanetti
Structures Massimo Ratto, Stefano Podestà
Installations Andrea Damonte, Ing. Massimo Pinna
Builder Edilido S.r.l

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