Variation of modes of use: functions, users, schedules, etc.

Relationship between the ownership and the form of the investment that allows the transformation

Variation of the overall dimensions of the building

Proportional relationship between new spaces and existing spaces

Relationship between the structural adjustments and the existing structure

Relationship between the forms and types of pre-existing materials and those of the new intervention

Relationship between the image of the new and the image of the existing (mimesis / contrast)


Monte Carasso. Ticino. Switzerland


Simona de Giuli Anita Lara Bulloni



Simona de Giuli, Anita Lara Bulloni – Project for the restoration of the Oratory of the Holy Trinity of Monte Carasso

PROJECT - Main Infos

PROJECT: Simona de Giuli, Anita Lara Bulloni – Project for the restoration of the Oratory of the Holy Trinity of Monte Carasso

LOCATION: Monte Carasso. Ticino. Switzerland

YEAR: 2019

ARCHITECT / FIRM: Simona de Giuli Anita Lara Bulloni

BUYER: Parish Council of Monte Carasso

SURFACE: 389 sqm

PRICE: € 900.000

The project aims to restore to the Oratory its hieratic value through a few gestures, surgical operations to erase the appearance of unfinished work. The state of preservation of the factory from the beginning did not show major problems except for a crack that longitudinally crossed the entire structure, probably as a result of the collapse of the foundations on the north-east side of the fortress, the infiltration of water from the roof and the south-west wall of the classroom and a general deterioration due to the long abandonment. In the first instance it was proposed to solve these problems by transforming them into architectural expedients, "pre-texts" capable of reopening a dialectic between the new, the existing building and the landscape. The historical value and the unique position on a promontory on the Magadin plane, as well as the perfect proportions given by the golden geometry, were the paradigms that most influenced our choices, never forgetting that each new element should be clearly identifiable with respect to the existing and that at the same time could also be a tool for reading the semantics of the building. To confirm the link between the Oratory and the place, each new element has been created by re-using the material resulting from the demolition and the concrete: the walls of the building in stone and the concrete are both born from mixtures of natural materials, while the rain of the roof, as is known, are typical of this territory, their combination has created a bond of belonging.

WHAT - Program

BALANCE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND REPLACEMENT: The new program is in balance with the existing one.

According to the static report of the engineer Emilio Molinaro, it was considered necessary to install 3 chains of closure at the height of the root of the vaults and the construction of a counter-rotum wall on the north-east and south-east side of the fortress, the latter has generated a new path that accompanies visitors from the entrance of the sacred area to the viewpoint open on the plane of Magadino. The particular shape of the wall, in addition to replicating in a contemporary key the morphology of the nineteenth-century ramparts, creates a sacred enclosure, a témenos, which gives the Oratory its churchyard, while from afar it looks like a mètrom that reveals to the observer the true measure of the landscape. Inside the new enclosure, the space of the churchyard is distinct from the rest with a floor made of waste rain from the old roof laid dry and cut into splits, while a staircase made of waste material also marks the border between the sacred area and the old path. Previously the access to the area was quite difficult and not without dangers, the construction of the enclosure has created a space of socialization open to the landscape that becomes an integral part: the forts of hunger, the castles of Bellinzona, the river sementina, the ancient walls of fortification dictate the syntax of the writing of the new space.

WHO - Financing

BALANCE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND REPLACEMENT: Balanced financing between the original owner and another investor.

Parish Council of Monte Carasso Municipality of Monte Carasso Republic and Canton Ticino Raiffeisen Bank

HOW MUCH - Absolute Dimensions


BALANCE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND REPLACEMENT: The overall dimensions are about twice the pre-existing surface.


TOTAL CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The overall dimensions are equal to the pre-existing volume.

For the interior of the factory and for the decorative parts, the project has tried to recover as much as possible the original condition of the plasters, leaving the stucco part as the only note of colour: in our opinion, this choice has enhanced the spaciousness of the hall and the presbytery and at the same time has increased the decorative value of Ancona. Restore the first historical phase from the beginning seemed not questionable, because the interventions especially for the stucco parts did not allow to recover the original state, so we chose to refer to the second historical phase (mid-nineteenth century). Having chosen this phase as a line of restoration, for philological reasons it was decided to reopen the 4 windows of the classroom, the presbytery door and the 2 windows of the room above the sacristy.

HOW MUCH - Relative Dimensions

PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: Pre-existing spaces are prevalent with respect to new spaces.

The restoration of the external equipment has seen a type of intervention that has tried to highlight the different historical phases and the various parts that make up the Oratory: for the main prospectus -north.west- we wanted the complete restoration of the stucco of the frame of the door and windows, removing all the cement parts posthumously. For the south east elevation, the only facade completely plastered because it faces the nucleus of Monte Carasso, it was decided to reinstate the entire mirroring in correspondence to the volume of the presbytery thus maintaining a clear distinction with the other volumes after its construction. The sacristy and the room constitute, with respect to the factory, a body that is settling down; the restoration of this appendix has in fact followed its own line of intervention. In the south-east elevation, the plaster has been restored over the entire surface. For the sake of continuity with the other interventions, the two buffered windows of the room above the sacristy have been opened.

HOW - Design Strategy STRUCTURE

TOTAL CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The original supporting structure is fully preserved and there are no new structures.

wall The wall was made of reinforced concrete with a height ranging from 1.50 to 2.80 meters above ground for a length of about 50 linear meters. To stabilize the wall, a 1-metre shoe was made at the base. chains Three transverse chains were laid - Swissgewl threaded bar φ 32 mm - above the inner frame, one aligned with the main front, one above the wooden beam and the third above the ancona. To position them, 6 core drills with a diameter of 120 mm were drilled on the perimeter walls and at these niches to accommodate the chain heads. After being brought under tension, the heads were blocked with special mortar and then walled into the niches with the same material as the demolition. crack To prevent the cracking from continuing to widen, it was decided to inject GeoCalce into the crack: first the cracks were closed from the outside to prevent the escape of the material and then injections of GeoCalce F® anti-seismic and GeoCalce® FL anti-seismic were carried out.

HOW - Design Strategy MATERIAL

PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The materials chosen for the new intervention show more similarities than differences compared to the pre-existing ones.

Link with the place To confirm the link between the Oratory and the place, each new element has been created by re-using the material resulting from demolition and concrete: the stone walls of the building and the concrete are both born from mixtures of natural materials, while the rain of the roof, as is well known, are typical of this area, their combination has created a bond of belonging. It is also of no less importance that the idea of reusing demolition materials has reduced the amount of waste for landfill to almost nothing.

HOW - Design Strategy IMAGE

BALANCE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND REPLACEMENT: The new intervention balances elements of continuity and discontinuity with respect to existing structures.

It is not easy to establish precisely when the construction of the Oratory began, we know from the documents consulted that already in 1626 it was in activity, in fact in a note by his father Giacomo Scalabrini refers to the "rents" paid for the Oratory. It is thought that the beginning of the construction of the factory is a few years earlier, it is confirmed by some writings found inside and outside the same: The oldest is the one engraved on the compass of the alms - 1613 - embedded in the window sill to the left of the entrance door; on the pole of the entrance door there is the date 1620, while 1637 is carved on both the front of the canteen and on the window sill of the high window of the presbytery, this certainly coincides with the year of consecration of the Oratory. On the granite aedicule of the entrance door is engraved in Roman characters the date MDCLV -1655-; the aedicule was built after the construction of the factory and is clearly a variant of the initial setting, in fact, below this are still visible traces of an ancient rose window, above the tympanum is instead depicted the image of a sword stuck in a rock probably of the order of chivalry of Augustinians, as is also of chivalrous origin the cross engraved on the altar - cross of mortar.