University housing and collective services from the rehabilitation of the ex-cattle market of Florence

Firenze, 2002-2010 (Breschistudio Associati)

Alberto BreschiLoris Macci, Francesco Stolzuoli, Giovanni Todesca





The hypothesis for the project responds above all to the recognised necessity to preserve the original 19th century layout. The 19th century buildings are entirely rehabilitated and their morphological configuration provides the guidelines for the insertion of the new residential complex and of the services related to it. Following the structural layout of the main building, originally intended for the stables, the project places next to the residential modules a series of collective spaces, connected by an “internal street” which prolongs the pathways of the campus into the housing complex. The interior street consists in a large space which crosses the entire complex, using the central nave, which is faced by the entrances to the dwellings and, on the mezzanine floor, the exterior spaces of the night area. At the centre of the pathway, in line with an entrance and exit in the interior courtyard, a large living area is inserted, with direct light provided by a great sky-light. The main feature of this distribution space is that of taking on the function of connection between all the spaces and rooms in the building which, due to their specific activities, cannot be independent from the entrance. It represents the connective and interactive fabric, both visual and spatial, of the entire architectural structure and allows – constantly facing the spaces placed on different levels – non-formalised exchanges between all the users of the complex. It will also permit the placement of furnishing elements such as movable equipment and places for conversation and encounters for individuals and small groups. The collective spaces are divided into functional nuclei and occupy three spans of the end of the largest building and the entire building which used to be the hayloft. The functional nucleus of the support, management and administrative services is placed next to the main entrance and includes the reception desk and the administrative area. The functional area for recreational services, which includes, in addition to the living-room spaces on the main corridor, a cafeteria, a video-room, a music-room, a game-room, and internet area and a gym, is placed on the ground floor, in line with the interior street. The functional area devoted to cultural services is located on a mezzanine floor, in a more protected and secluded area, and includes areas for studying, a hall for seminars and meetings and a library.