Il cantiere dell'Arsenale. Materiali e tecniche

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Abstract

There are some buildings whose troubled vicissitudes, if related to the history of their city, give them an emblematic and symbolic role. Palermo, like and more than any other cities, has been fed for millennia of antithetical symbols. Its main aptitude, during a long constructive history, seemed a dissemination of architectures or urban events, in which the same city could reflect, as real synecdoche and representative parts of the whole. Palermo, with its many contradictions, seems to portray itself in many architectures that mostly represent its image and reproduce its "form", perceived as éidos, in the conceptual sphere of the lógos and in its relations with the mýthos.Paraphrasing the famous aphorism of Karl Kraus, "in a real portrait it’s possible to recognize the painter", and transliterating this concept from the pictorial to the architectural art, we could affirm that in every "true architecture", if deeply settled in the culture and history of a place, it is possible to identify the city, or the idea of the city, that it describes.The royal Arsenal of Palermo is, without any doubt, one of these urban effigies. A ship-building yard built as a palace, rare and singular fact, although it has never been so. It is closely associated to the process of development of the extra-urban port area, created after the construction of the sixteenth-century New Dock. Thus, the Arsenal is not only a workshop for military ship building and repairing but also an architecture whose facies, from an iconological point of view, had to be in line with the royal image of the quadripartite city, generated by the renovatio urbis of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Colonna street, along with the powerful and massive Tuono and Vega ramparts, the Felice civic gate, the Sea Castle, and the Arsenal become the new figurative cornerstones of the Palermo’s reconfigured sea frontline, largely attributable to the ars architectonica (architectural art) of a single important architect: Mariano Smiriglio. In his dual role of architect of the Palermo’s Senate (1602) and royal engineer (1610), he was the undisputed protagonist of a feverish activity of construction that invested the city in the first decades of the seventeenth century.This volume collects a system of knowledge and data, based on manuscript sources dated from the beginning of the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century. In particular, the study is aimed to outline in a systematic way the constructive events of the Palermitan Arsenal, in relation to the suburban settling dynamics of the city, that are linked to the construction of the new urban port. Furthermore, the Arsenal is compared to similar architectures realized in the geographical contexts of the Spanish political and military influence, with a particular attention to the Italian and the Mediterranean area.
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteL'Arsenale di Palermo. Vicende costruttive e progetti di riforma
Pagine49-62
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

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