Turin, 23 March 2022. From today the Quadrilateral of Turin, the ancient Augusta Taurinorum, has a new public square and a new archaeological area. To unite them is Quadrato, a city space born from the conversion of the ancient convent of Sant’Agostino into a contemporary condominium and urban relais, built by the Building Group in 2018, and from the conservative restoration of the ancient Roman spa area – found in the courtyard during the works – made possible by the “La Venaria Reale” Conservation and Restoration Center with the support of the CRT Foundation.
Between via delle Orfane and via San Domenico, Quadrato overlooks the historic Piazzetta della Visitazione; today, thanks to the design and investment of the Building Group, the square is a new public corner of Turin and the historic district. The intervention involved a new pavement and the pedestrianization of the Piazzetta, the area between the Church of Santa Chiara, the building of the Public Health and Hygiene Office, now the headquarters of the ASL of Turin, the Church of the Santissima Annunziata and Quadrato, giving a new square in the oldest heart of Turin. Here, where Julia Augusta Taurinorum was founded in 28 BC, when you dig, you often find a treasure. During the reconversion works of the ancient convent, in 2017, the excavations conducted by the Superintendency and the Building Group revealed an ancient domus, dating back to Roman times, built in the 2nd century AD inside the courtyard of Quadrato. , with a mosaic representing the mythological figure of Actaeon. After the restoration carried out by the “La Venaria Reale” Conservation and Restoration Center, with the support of the CRT Foundation, the archaeological area is now open to the public.
“The conversion of a common good is an act of generosity towards the public and attention to the memory of the context, the city. In the major restoration works in Turin, we have always combined the destination of private use with the return of the heritage to the community, through the dialogue of this with contemporary art and creativity. When we discovered the Roman remains in the subsoil of Quadrato, it was immediate to imagine opening the courtyard to citizens to visit the area and look out over this mythological mosaic. To enhance this special condominium archaeological area, from today the quadrilateral has a new lounge: the renovated Piazzetta della Visitazione ” declares Piero Boffa, president of the Building Group.
On the side of Via delle Orfane of the Piazzetta della Visitazione, Quadrato overlooks, a contemporary house inaugurated at the end of 2018 by the Building Group based on a project by the Boffa Petrone & Partners studio, which transformed it into a prestigious condominium, an urban relais, with apartments that can also be rented for short periods stays, and headquarters of Isokinetic, a center for sports medicine and orthopedic rehabilitation of excellence. During the construction of the underground garage, archaeological finds of exceptional consistency emerged. It is a vast complex of the Imperial Roman era, dating back to the 2nd century, with large paved rooms and a mosaic decoration representing the mythological figure of the hunter Actaeon, torn to pieces by his dogs. The courtyard between via delle Orfane and via San Domenico thus becomes the archaeological area of Quadrato, a new domus of Roman Turin, open to visitors and open to the public.
The area is open to the public free of charge, by entering from the entrance door of the building in via delle Orfane 20. It is also possible to be accompanied on guided tours thanks to initiatives proposed by operators and tour guides; among these the tours of the Arcana Domus Association, aimed at the discovery of archaeological Turin which also includes the site that emerged during the construction of Quadrato.
In front of Quadrato, the Boffa Petrone & Partners studio of the Building Group designed and carried out the transformation and restoration works of the Piazzetta della Visitazione and with the CRT Foundation of the contiguous Church of Santa Chiara. The works were directed towards the rearrangement of the pavement of the square to allow partial pedestrianization. The pedestrianization intervention has inserted a free space with benches, delimited by some classic barriers of the City of Turin and some green planted pots. The pedestrian sidewalk on the south-west side of the Piazzetta was also raised and a bump was created, to facilitate crossing on foot, at the entrance to Via San Domenico. The design proposal for the new layout of the Piazzetta, focusing on a better quality and enhancement of the public space, was favorably received by District 1.
“The restoration of the block in via delle Orfane has made it possible, within the framework of an effective collaboration between public and private entities, to restore an important piece of Roman Turin, attractive and fully and freely usable. Today, in the same setting, even the small square of the Visitation finds a new and more refined layout: a rediscovered space which – after the important demolitions of the early twentieth century – acts as an intelligent hinge between the severe architecture of the new hygiene office and the ancient city ” declares Luisa Papotti, Superintendent of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Metropolitan City of Turin.
“A redeveloped space that combines past and present, residential and archeology, public and private is now being returned to the city – say the President of the CRT Foundation Giovanni Quaglia and the Secretary General Massimo Lapucci -. Thanks to teamwork, a ‘jewel’ that has remained hidden for centuries returns to shine, a fragment of history and beauty discovered and recovered thanks to the support of the CRT Foundation, which for thirty years has been committed to the rebirth and enhancement of its heritage. artistic and cultural heritage of Turin and Piedmont “.
“We are very happy to have participated in the return to the city of a piece of its history. We did it together with the Master’s Degree Course in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage of the University of Turin, in agreement with our Center, chaired by the professor of classical archeology Diego Elia. Over the past year, several construction sites have been organized that have seen our professional restorers engaged together with the students and teachers of the university course – explains Stefano Trucco, president of the “La Venaria Reale” Conservation and Restoration Center – Together we participated in the openings to the public that they certainly conveyed the enthusiasm of our children for the exceptional discovery of the mosaic and the finds that emerged during the excavation “.
The archaeological area of Quadrato is accessible at the following times:
Monday through Friday: