Nuovi spazi per istituzioni antiche. Il caso della Biblioteca Centrale della Regione Siciliana Alberto Bombace di Palermo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The individualistic tendencies of contemporary society have produced a progressive reduction of collective places in our cities. If we look the condition of the historical centers (or at the suburbs of contemporary metropolis) we can immediately perceive an emergency situation in which the meeting places are gradually disappeared. On the other hand, there is also a greater demand for places where people can cultivate various interests and have opportunities to meet and exchange with others. Many institutions, such as museums, galleries and in particular libraries, that in the past had a specific functional purpose, now have a wide urban role. Even if they preserve their original cultural characteristics, the public library has, nowadays, lost the sacred character of the knowledge preservation place. They became increasingly the centers of social life in the cities.In Italy many cultural institutions, above all libraries, occupy today important buildings in the historic city. The existence of important libraries in monumental buildings of the historical cities centers open the way to some questions about the relations between library, architecture and city. The problems are both internal (historical buildings have an insufficient inclination to modify them self and increase the flexibility that requires a modern library) and external (those buildings have a lot of accessibility issues and a general inability to expand their spaces).The project presented concerns the thesis on the expansion and renovation of Sicilian Central Library. The history and the urban location of the building establish a two-way relationship between the content and the container: on the one hand, the presence of the library in the Jesuit "Collegio Massimo" has ensured the permanence of a major cultural institution in the heart of the city of Palermo; on the other hand, the Library has provided the preservation of the monument, that arrives to the present day in almost the original configuration despite the changes made over the centuries and the ravages of the Second World War.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationRecupero Valorizzazione Manutenzione nei Centri Storici
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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