Special photo #03. Paolo Mazzo, photographer: Ex Foro Boario from Padua

Office Observer’s new partnership with → Paolo Mazzo, a professional photographer who creates images for architecture, industry and urban landscapes. Author of photographic projects with a social or urban background, among his most recent exhibitions, in chronological order: “Le Case Olivetti” in Ivrea, on the occasion of the 2020 Ivrea Architecture Festival in collaboration with AASO Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, the exhibition “How many houses are needed” with the painter Bruno Lorini at the Archivi della Misericordia in Venice in 2021; in 2022: “Life in Bellavista. Olivetti district” at the Urban Lab in Turin, “Modern Ivrea, images, plans and projects” at the Sapienza University of Rome.

In each special, Paolo Mazzo will introduce the architecture he photographed, with a reference image and a link to the complete photo shoot on his website.

(text from Paolo Mazzo, photographer)

The Foro Boario of Padua was founded in the mid-60s of the 20th century by the will of the city administration: it was an era of development and modernization at all costs, often at the sacrifice of the forma urbis.
The regulatory revolution related to the buying and selling of livestock is changing, and so the new Foro Boario in Padua soon becomes defunct: a cathedral in the desert. That’s right: a cathedral!
The project by the architect Giuseppe Davanzo is based on the memory image of the big circus tents under which cattle were sold during village markets: the liveliness of a handshake to conclude a contract, animals valued by buyers whose experience is mixed with phenomenology. of the five senses, are thus penetrated into their being.
It is exactly this climate that Davanzo is going to make current, with new materials, increased dimensions, a different permanence and an architectural scale that becomes urban.
The construction technique is precast precast concrete with steam curing, which in the 1960s is still associated with cultivated planning, far from the serial degeneration of the 1970s and 1980s.
If the overall image relies on the image of a circus with two masts, similarly replaced by two lanterns in the planimetric interweaving of the two large squares that define the main body of the complex, the structural frame is instead entrusted to a square modular grid. on four-lobed piers that support the main prestressed beams.
Secondary anchors are attached to these beams. always in reinforced concrete, which form cover plates with a module of 10×10 meters; the spacing of the piers corresponds to the diagonal of the square, so that each slab is supported on two opposite vertices by piers, while the other two vertices are connected to the slabs above and below by metal hangers (1.80 m long) specially designed to ensure the static balance of the entire coverage.
This results in a double deviation of the matrix, both horizontal and vertical, with a slight overlap between the cover plates on the base grid. The result is structural and covering continuity, but allows light and air to pass through. In this way, Davanzo creates a large covered space without being closed, with lateral fillings in concrete panels with expanded clay, where all the negotiation, exchange and exhibition activities of the animals are located next to the rest areas, in the absence of stables, buildings for various services and parking.
The spaces are also organically determined thanks to the choice of turning the compositional module by 45° with respect to Corso Australia, where the Foro Boario overlooks, with “a distribution axis within the market area that is easy to navigate and able to correspond to the dynamics of negotiation: seeing the cattle, evaluating them, negotiate, conclude agreements, exchange information, pay, all in a short time”.
The Foro Boario construction site was closed very quickly thanks to the assembly technique of prestressed concrete elements, proving that industrialization and quality in architecture at the time could be one and the same.

→ Complete photo shoot

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – NonCommercial – NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

FOLLOW THE BLOG BY EMAIL: you can receive updates on the office and contract sector for free a preview of news published on the blog in your inbox by filling out the form with your email address → on this link.

(TAG: photo)

(last published articles)

Leave a Comment