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Teatro Massimo “Vincenzo Bellini” of Catania
Virtual Tour from the Mole Antonelliana.
The Mole Antonelliana is a building in Turin, located in the historical centre, symbol of the city and one of the symbols of Italy. The name derives from the fact that, in the past, it was the highest masonry in Europe, while its adjective comes from the architect who conceived it, Alessandro Antonelli. However, during the twentieth century, it underwent important restructuring with reinforced concrete and steel beams, so it can no longer be considered a structure exclusively in masonry. With a height of 167.5 meters, for years it was the tallest building in Turin, but today, after the construction of two other modern towers, remains the highest building of the city’s only central profile.
The shape of the monument is particular and unique, the result of a daring and singular eclectic nineteenth-century architectural technique, typical of the style of Alessandro Antonelli. The massive lower part, the one that remained exclusively in masonry, starts with a square base, with a 50 meters long side, larger than the overlapping modules. The entrance of the whole structure, in via Montebello, 20, is highlighted by an pronaos, which rises for about 30 meters, with columns in neoclassical architectural style, while the austerity of the elevation of the base is marked by pillars alternating with Semi-columns and diluted from large glazed surfaces in the upper register. The cover of the Pronaos instead, other about 10 meters, is characterized by repeated flaps on all sides, which are connected to the central module divided into two registers; In the one below there is the loggia, which has twenty columns for each side, while the upper one is characterized by semicircular windows. Both registers show conspicuous spandrel frames. Above, at a height ranging from 40 to 80 meters, rises the large dome, with square base, characterized by elongated, with convex walls in a masonry. It forms a kind of shell, consisting of unusually thin perimeter walls (just 12 cm thick), separated by a cavity of about 2 meters. The above dome is overlooked by another structure, about 20 meters high, called “Temple”, which reproposes the underlying theme of the colonnade. We are about half the height of the entire building. This temple can be reached by means of an elevator without fixed rails (replaced by thick steel cables that act as guides) located exactly in the centre of the atrium below, giving visitors an internal panoramic view of the dome at 360 degrees. Always square, the temple is supported by two orders for each side and is arranged on two floors, but access to tourists is allowed only to the lower. Above the temple, stands the long spire, consisting of its base, called “lantern”, 18 meters high and 15 meters in diameter, this time a circular base, also equipped with a terrace. Above the lantern, starting from a height of 113 meters, stands the cusp of the spire, octagonal based and inspired by the Gothic architecture. This last part, today inaccessible to tourists, it is made up of ten circular terraces, gradually becoming smaller: the first, with 8 columns, is the one which is the roof to the lantern (always 15 meters in diameter), from which another similar colonnade, slightly more Small, ending with the second balcony. Even higher, a series of 5 smaller terraces, this time in metal, of diameter ranging from 10 to 7 meters, then a last set of 3, in reinforced concrete, of diameter from 6 to 4.5 meters. Lastly, the 12-pointed star at the top (diameter of 2.4 meters), thus reaching the 167.5 meters of total height of the entire building. The Mole was often considered a bizarre attempt to mediate between neoclassical and Neo, mixed with the technological innovations of the time. Already the same Antonelli experienced the use of iron, exploited in all its structural potential, without neglecting the traditional architectural language. The spire was later reinforced with the use of steel, following the ruinous storm of 1953.