area 135 | grafts

architect: Archea Associati

location: Cesena, Italy

year: 2014

Too often, architecture, forgetting to be art, through which the city is built along with its “magnificent beauty“, is considered merely a real estate opportunity, an activity with the seemingly sole purpose of financial gain. Fortunately, someone, both in the public and private sectors, has “returned” to understand the value of ethics and the responsibility of building in terms of “constructing the urban image” as a collective heritage even if generated by individual needs and activities. This sense of participation in the “Civitas“ is the soul of the project proposed by architect Marco Casamonti and his studio Archea Associati from Florence, successfully accomplished with the cooperation of the local study Ottagono for the new showroom Salaroli in Cesena. The building, or rather, the recently completed complex of buildings transform several anonymous existing buildings, located between the façade overlooking the Piazzale Risorgimento and Cesare Battisti street, into a harmony capable of redesigning the new access to Cesena’s old town, according to a perspective that completes a hypothesis which has seen its public administration compete for the project of enlargement of the bridge and the reconstruction of Via Battisti, along with private clients for the redevelopment and architectural redefinition of the main building’s perspective overlooking the river.

The previous image, typically of post-war construction, was substituted by a new architectural configuration that visually connects, through a studied sloping roof, the heights of the newer buildings, taking into account the measurements of the corner building on Via Battisti. Between the latter and the adjacent buildings, a new fragment has been inserted to restore the congruity of the successive heights, creating a rhythmic sequence, through the variously aligned bow windows, the random alternation of the various architectural elements (windows and balconies) along the street. As it should always have been, although unfortunately today such a concept is an exceptional event, the city and its sophisticated harmony among its parts, is the subject and the focus of this project characterized by the use of quality, durable claddings such as sandstone, which ennoble the elevations in their entirety. There is an indisputable desire, alimented by the activity itself, to supply quality components for living, but not predictable if compared with the contingencies and the current crisis in the housing market to which the client looks in the longterm and with a renewed optimism, proved by the investments made.

The concept of not resigning oneself to anonymity and degradation, the choice of a studio and designer of international renown, the use of components of high architectural quality and design, the hypothesis of maintaining one’s own activity in the city centre, by embarking on the path of  “building on the built“ and therefore, sustainably, reusing the existing, provides a useful and effective contribution to those who still wish to consider the city as the centre of human life, of the human need to socialize and actively participate in the life of the community to which he or she belongs.