restoration and redevelopment of the Cavallerizza Reale di Torino . Turin

AJDVIV | JAN DE VYLDER INGE VINCK . OASI architects . AMArchitectrue

‘…No decoration has been proposed in the interior, except for a small cornice around the impost of the vault, appearing not to be necessary and also because smooth walls are easier to maintain with due property. …’
Dixit Eng. Carlo Bernardo Mosca

Every use has his principles of making, building and expression. If well done it represent the real story of what the building means. A story that often is a story of many stories. Futures change histories and by that make histories became real histories. Rich histories.
And all these different histories are if not always than often reflected in change of making, building and expressions. Change is not only about future but also making history.
A horse is different from men, isn’t it? It should!

However, having been said that one can also say that there are many fascinating details still. And there is one fascinating detail that keeps the eye. It is a detail that points to a possible future. A brick wall reaching out into to an expression of to be continued. Masonry bandage is unfinished but shaped to express that message of continuation. A rhythm of spare openings in the same wall go along with that message.
The idea of re-use today should not only be an answer on what we could or should or are expected to do with that what is available today. The demand to re-use is only an honor to the given when also it immediate checks out how another future re-use can be given perspective still. Build history is often result of re-use. And often not just once but often also time by time. Understanding today the idea of re-use better than ever before makes that the idea of preparing the availability to another future re-use should be the fundament of the re-use of today. One can define it as (P)RE-USE. By that the idea of sustainability is not only about the guaranteed action but possibly also about the flexibility of lightness. And – here running ahead on our attitude – might seek or helped more but the idea of – in order of impact – INTERFERING, INTERVENING, or INTRODUCING. Of almost – defining these three words – the invisible change to the daring and to the adding but each time as small scaled and possibly each other time differently applied action. These three words all together one: rather INITIATING then DEFINING.
ADD ON and TAKE AWAY might become ADD AWAY and TAKE ON. Bringing the words AD HOC and KEEP OF in that series of ideas one can reflecting on more exiting ideas like TAKE OFF – just INTERFENING – or ADD TO – dare INTRODUCING – or ADD IN – daring INTERVENING.
Re-use is to open; isn’t it? It should!

Sometimes thing that have nothing to do with each other all of a sudden have something to do with each other.
However, ever all is catalogued as one city it is never just one. Also, here the given context is only by time felt as being one; but at the end it is not at all one. And the character is possibly not defined by the unity but rather if not only by its fringes, conflicts and unsolved.
But that’s a city; isn’t it? It should!

It is not only about the context given but about accepting the context.
What is available for re-use is not just a resource. It is a context. And a context is much more than a just physical appearance or availability. And the idea of context rather than resource is not only a matter of historical understanding but also a matter of nowadays acceptance possibly leading to another future attitude of use. Expectations are guided by habits and standards, but possible real change of attitude is the only key to a better future use of what is available.
Change is a matter of ATTITUDE isn’t it? It should!

Economy is not about average. It is about less but also about more.
Can the ATTITUDE on only INTERFERING, just INTERVENING and maybe INTRODUCING initiate and other economy? And economy of LESS MEANS? And by that open another economy that initiates with the SAVED MEANS maybe UNEXPECTED CHANCES? The ATTITUDE of rather INITIATING is and ATTITUDE of the UNEXPECTED!
At the end: all is about economy, isn’t it? It should!

The renovation of Turin’s Cavallerizza Reale constitutes a unique and precious opportunity in the city’s history.
Because of the urban dimension of the external spaces, because the complex is set in the heart of the city and plays a relevant role within its connective and social fabric, the challenge facing the designer takes on the characteristics of a small renovatio urbis.
Therefore, the shared ambition and responsibility of the design team was to interpret the project as an opportunity to define an urban and social form that represents a new relationship with nature, and a new sense of inclusiveness and community
The exercise adopted was that of description, its tool was drawing.
The investigation, carried out on the basis of numerous inspections and careful observation, hasproduced an abacus, understood not as an exhaustive copy of reality but as an operational tool for understanding the constituent materials of buildings, cities, and territories, i.e. the “form of the elements, the quantity of these elements, the ways in which they are distributed in space with respect to one another, and the relative size of each” (Foucault, 1969). Understanding this system of signs and relations was the key to allowing us to think about its remodelling.
“Surveying”, “seeing”, “investigating” in order to care.*
Visiting and visiting again. Studying and studying again. Reading and reading again. A PALIMPSEST
is an eternal and endless CARROUSEL of possible understandings *. And however, nothing is only at its own at all and is rather part of all we have set out a series of observations. Brought together in like two different though never strictly separated scales of observations.
OBSERVATIONS are maybe not analyses. But one can say that yet in the observation the next IMAGINATIONS is embedded. However, the conceptualization of that imaginations might be at the end free, yet the observation makes that the concept is driving and by that will be embedded in the context given. How to balance the MORE FREE IMAGINATIONS with the MORE DIRECTING CONCEPTUALIZATIONS?
CATALOGING the OBSERVATIONS might be a starting point: a CATALOGUE named ABACUS.
Started setting out a visual report on what one observes. Freely but catalogued. Catalogues but inspiring. Today maybe not yet all what is catalogued will be valued. But the ABACUS at all will become the guiding but free concept of available perceptions and reading of a context being a PALIMPSETS.
An abacus on the scale of the city. Of this city district.
This city blocks.
Setting out a catalogue of stranger moments in the whole constellation. The rotunda in the middle.
The transferal staircase on the Ala Mosca. The burned down parts of the Pagliere. But also, at the height of the Mollino building the covered front passage. As on the height of the via Rossini the strange triangular spaces at the end of the double wing Pagliere building. And many more.
An abacus on the scale of the detail.
Of unique moments. Of stange players.
However, there is no exhaust on details around, yet enough details are available. And even more details are available reading and reading what can be seen again and again. Like for example the inner light walls in the Ala Mosca part. Wooden structures and stone infill alternating with doors and windows. Like an OPUS CRATITIUM Or like the stone arches sometimes clearly visible sometimes partly free.
Which stories of change do they hide, and which understandings of engineering might free other chances? Or like that peculiaar detail – mentioned yet here above – suggesting a future extension of the Pagliere. And so many more. A strange circular staircase or hanging staircase or some freefloating balconies in the corner and kind like gigantic but playful bow-window connecting levels. And many more.

One could ask how the sharp but calibrated to the moment of the time ambitions of the five points of departure and the careful but calibrated to the context readings – the larger scale and the detail scale, from PALMIPSETS TO ABACUS – can find each other and can be balanced to each other.
Maybe it is possible. And that it is not only a matter of being possible. But that they both ways of approaching – reflection and reading – in a natural way belong to each other. Or at least make a way of acting – imagining and daring – today possible differently then expected but very much more to the agenda of not only the history and the nowadays but also the future days to come.
ACCEPTANCE is the starting point and by reading and re-reading the context and re-formulating and re-projecting the expectations again and again not only an easy way of going with the given however also a dare full chance of TWISTING one and another. It seems to be another possible way to give a near future but also a future a head – (P)RE-USE – another CHANCE.
Going with the that – from PALIMPSET to ABACUZ – we set out like a – and for understanding and memorizing a set of five times seven – 5 x 7 – DISTINGUISHED DIFFERENT DETAILS however able to CONNECT the NOT yet CONNECTED when brought to the front.

Bringing these to the front is an act from OBSERVING the GIVEN to INITIATING the COMING.
At least we can say here and now: this is maybe what our APPROACH is about.
A way of READING to find a way of WRITING. Reading IN BETWEEN and writing IN BETWEEN.
And this way is however the proposal of today maybe rather a proposal of PROCES then a proposal of PROJECT. And this PROPOSAL of PROCES is a PROPOSAL of PARTICIPATION.
The movement of OSBERVING to PROCESSING is a nowadays ATTITUDE to ENABLE OPEN rather than to DIRECT FINAL. (P)RE-USE as said.
This is our proposal: WALKING TOGETHER to another WORLD. A world initiated by MINOR
This is our proposal: WALKING TOGETHER to another WORLD. A world initiated by MINOR

We describe here now each player part of the expectations – Ala Mosca/the FSP, Pagliere/the Cultural
Hub, Theater and museum/the city, Court/the university – together with each special player in the context – like the rotunda and the transversal staircase to the Ala Mosca, or the in between passage between Ala Mosca and Pagliere to the park, or like many other smaller details freeing approaches however the careful environment UNESCO heritage always is – by little stories of visiting or wandering around. Stories that on one hand guide through each of the organizations – functionally and special – but also shares feelings of impressions regenerated by the architecture given but also the twisted interventions, introductions, or interferences in architecture.
Ala Mosca
Arriving from via Verdi and walking straight towards the arcade in front of the Ala Mosca. It is like we can see trough. Never one saw light entering. Light from the back side. From the North. Not much. But not any more just dark.
Arriving from via Verdi and walking straight towards the arcade in front of the Ala Mosca. It is like we can see trough. Never one saw light entering. Light from the back side. From the North. Not much.
But not any more just dark.
Once entered, it is clear now where that light came from. The now opened window at the backside wall gives a glimpse on the park. The existence of that park is freed now. The trees and the sky. And this just by opening a window. Or at all: all the windows alongside. It seems.
At the left the lobby desk. Behind that desk a long perspective of the immense vaulted space emerges. A sequence of spaces seems reveille. At first an auditorium and following a space presenting pieces of art. And even at the total back the long space seems to give access to furthermore.
Arrived here to be on time for the appointment.
Now friendly directed towards the outside staircase that immediately got our interest once we were pointed at. Being guided back outside to find our way to the offices at first seems strange but taking that inviting historical staircase in the eye the feeling of strange is intertwined by the feeling of generosity.
Before we direct outside turning around in this most beautiful lobby space one other new perspective comes in the eye. A view that once more in sequence brings another building in perspective. And the space in between this building and the other. It is said that the other building is named Paglieri. After our visit to the Foundation and before walking home we will walk by that Pagliere. It seems much is going on.
We walk back outside under the arcade towards the staircase. What a beauty. What a staircase. An elevator is available, but the beauty of the staircase space invites us at all. We walk slowly up just enjoying this hidden treasure.
A walk however outside. But such a joy. The symmetrical double turns twice into a central wide staircase. But before one knows one arrives above. Whirling around reconnected to the outside.
Giving glimpses of all that is around. Arriving above two bridged do invite. One seems to guide to nowhere. But a view on another space is for free. An the other direct to somewhere. Somewhere I’m expected: at the appointment with my banker.
It is arriving a new ground level. The staircase lifts one to.
A smaller lobby invites. My appointment is waiting yet. We walk up to the next level. However, the inviting mirrored elevator. Walking along space openly present but marked by glazed divisions or mirroring partition walls. Playfully but careful alternations of seemingly existing wooden structures precisely supported by new wooden and metal structures. Now and then not only open but also foreseen from infills alternating from plaster to stone. And completed by transparent to fluffy curtains.
Our meeting room is opposite to a void connecting this floor with the floor above. As we passed before yet a void connecting this floor with the floor below. The old spaces seem to reveille there most little details. But also embrace newer little. As they go hand in hand. The meeting place is not different.
Under the roof the spaces are not different. After our meeting we just passed the office of the president to say hello. The free wooden ceiling structure as beautiful as the other arched spaces at the other level below.
Walking out the bank turned to the elevator that asides the beautiful staircase. Waiting a moment, I take a glimpse on the patio aside. And see in the opposite corner a porch door open. Light seems to enter that space from another side.
But first arriving below I turn to the Pagliere walking the arcade again and passing the main lobby once more. As to the right there is a space still to be discovered. And what a discovery. Not only the art present but also the space as such. Open till the roof it let enter light from everywhere, but it also feels like a turning point to all around. The park at the back side enters by the windows. A mirrored wall continuous this space endlessly. Above the arched windows reconnect to the bank. The doors open around connect this space to the outside. This space is an outside space inside.
Walking to that other building. Looking aside into the park. But the other building comes in two. Two long stretched slender buildings in seems. I walk till the end. Till the street at the backside. Or maybe not a backside but a frontside to the city. A bar and a little trattoria accompany to the city. I take a coffee.
Told that this place is a place for creative industry. For artists and entrepreneurs. Some supporting companies found there place here. But not only. Since the capacity of these buildings did allow more. However, the sad recent history of fire incidents the accidents is taken as an occasion to create more space. Yesterday evening there was a vernissage in one of the three new spaces good to visit today. I accepted the advice. And yes. What a space. What a work. The artist was around.
A nice chat. She said that this space was not only a place to present but it was also her place to work for three months a head of exhibiting. Two other of this kind was mentioned. One will be open this afternoon starting a weeklong colloquium on art and management. The smallest one continuing the work of the same artist presenting that impressive other work in that open inside outside space of the Ala Mosca.
The backside wing includes at that point an enclosed outside staircase. At the same time, it opens to the till now closed outside spaces of the congress center at the backside.
After that enclosed inside outside space of the Ala Mosca and the Pagliere it is clear what makes the site different from before: alternating space from inside to outside and from outside to inside is the idea of change.
This Pagliere is a total other building then the Ala Mosca. History be read in the brickwork. Arches
suggesting past constellation but also allowing todays interventions. A particular detail appears at a change of level of the front building. Like waiting brickwork for future change to come. A message.
But a message well received it seems. I remember these stable as inaccessible. Today they only invite.
Walking back from the Pagliere passing again that open inside space of the Ala Mosca continuing the vaulted arcade passing the open staircase entering that patio where the opposite side a porch door was open.
Entering a rotunda building. Finding four open doors open to four courtyards around. But not only.
Also giving access to four spaces around.
Four exhibitions space. Recognizable from before but different today. Of seemingly each time to another kind of space.
Another scale. Another proportion. Another architecture. The former theater. A theater of performance. Performance to exhibit.
It was yet al there before. But is now here different. In different order. Different sequence. Different experience. The same artist as in the Ala Mosca and Pagliere. In that inside outside space. Now also here in the two wings and the theater. And in the patios.
The exhibitions seem to continue in these four courtyards.
And rotunda guides the visit from one to the other.
The four courts are as easy as they are remembered. What a simple act of restoration and maintenance can do. Pavements taken care and uniting all together however each one specific surrounding and life. And each time one or more trees make these urban spaces also spaces of life In between It is remarkable, the pavement all over and around. Being on one hand maybe not that different from its origin, on the other hand the original seems but today by having taken care of that much different however yet good enough. And by that all came one still each time beautifully particular at each place and corner.
As the staircase of the Ala Mosca, the Rotunda or the in between passage Ala Mosca and Pagliere are turning points to give direction then the pavement is the guiding carpet that stiches all to one however each moment is another moment.
This walk today learns.
Walking through the patio’s walking further on towards the Regio theater once designed by Carlo
Mollino. It made me reflect on next. It seems that many of his generous ideas of in between spaces and optimistic detailing are today given air in the all over site Cavallerizzia seems to be today.
Architecture and art as an alternation. The museum became an active alternating walk of inside and outside. The smallest details around a direct inspiration for smaller changes or dared introductions, interferences, and interventions.
Tomorrow it is weekend, and I will return with my love. That time by the park. Which seems to me to day to no longer be anymore a backside. It would be not to my surprise that the exhibition of that great artist will be also continued in that park. Giuseppe Penone is a great artist. And, curator it seems. His own work became an invitation to young artists. All together and in this place: what a world!

Is the ABACUS the result of a way of observing to INSTRUMENTALIZE the act of CHANGE then the final act of walking a new world is guided by finding and seeing CONNECTIONS in between the today not yet or still NOT yet CONNECTED parts of the heterotopia.
Doors. And openings. And in between. And yet available. That simple. 5 x 7.
Opening doors might be simply the first act. And bringing the doors status of rest in an open position is the guarantee.
In the rotunda the four doors to the four courtyards change the understanding of the space at all.
Courtyards got connected. But also, the four wings around appear in another understanding.
One might say by declaring the Rotonda open one disconnects actual connections, but one can also understand that all sudden much more gets connected and connected in a free way of possible connections. The doors become a way of distributing and possible re-distributing again and again driven by different exhibition concepts and seasonal conditions. The rotunda opens the alternating inside and outside spaces as a rose in all directions.
If the Ala Mosca to the east and equally the Pagliere to the west opens the doors so that what was before just an in between today passage becomes an active turning point equally to the rotunda. And makes the park at the backside not only anymore to the backside. If the Pagliere to the east opens all doors to the street, then the whole Cavallerizza opens to the city once more and with a generous invitation: an aperitivo is waiting.
Just emphasizing and re-opening available passages all around the Cavallerizza is good enough to have a new understanding or at least re-understanding of the whole areal as such and city at large.
Doors. But not only. Up to 7 x 7. The act of making. Another observation.
Opening doors not only but also opening light walls – all the way – and light floors a- now and then – at the Ala Mosca is enough to make the Ala Mosca à jour with the today expectations op inhabiting but also expectations towards the historical understanding – from palimpsest over abacus –
nevertheless the ever-future history ever was. Alternating transcriptions of the given OPUS CRATITIUM give the change its architectural language.
The Pagliere takes its recent faith of fire incidences as an occasion to present unexpectedly large and at first non-defined however inspiring spaces as a gift.
Freeing the open spaces in between is yet part of all that idea of opening but also as such it is about opening. And this way of opening is guided by a patchwork of pavement that sometimes takes the open space from corner to corner and sometimes with some simple gestures interfere with the given fabrics. But at all unites as one large special understanding.
Enlarging the 5 X 7 to 7 X7. This time by understanding the BUILD and the LOST.
Seven times seven. 7 x 7. It is not a dogma. It is not a system. It is not a limit. Nor it is arbitrary. It is just the order upon today. Giving an image to all these divers but each time to the point interferences, interventions, and introductions.
Being precise moment by moment, ambition by ambitions, context per context. It is the only aim.
Looking forward to develop the 7 x 7 to more!

We speak out the word now for first time in this text.
But we also repeat the extract : A PALIMPSEST is an eternal and endless CARROUSEL of possible understandings *. And as said before: from PALIMPSEST to ABACUSE. A WALK!
And yes: this is the CAVALLERIZZA ‘PURE SANG’: all what is IN BETWEEN brings it TOGETHER –
first five of 7 x 7 – . As also all what is in its FRINGES and UNSOVED and SEEMINGLY NOT
IMPORTANT and LOSTS and CONTRADICTIONS seems to be the as good if not even the most characteristics of its own DNA – the last two of 7 X 7 -.
The word CAVALLERIZZA by it sounds seems to vow or rather VIBE that ENERGY!
‘…The project proposes itself as a restoration able to deliver to the citizenship renewed rights and capacity to enjoy an urban fragment; therefore, the project insists on the unveiling of the
accumulation of its signs, at the same time it opens the Cavallerizza Reale to new scenarios of interaction for the communities. …’
Mollino. He went ahead.
Re-reading Mollino. Does it look something totally different at first sight. One can read it a second sight as a condensed guide of actions – from city to detail – equally to the approach of our proposal for the for the Cavallerizza Real today. Defining ways of on one hand connecting but on the other hand also clearing out spaces is an equally shared interest. But also, the capacity and to dare to propose an architectural free language.
Still a quite different and very personal language in the hands of Carlo Mollino then the language this proposal developpes today – from observing to introduction, interference and intervening – but however a same ambition towards the world around: to walk and to experience and to enjoy that world.
Thankful. Inspiring. And free.
But also, respectful. Since accepting what is available.
And adoring what is for free.

But what did we do? What is it now all about?
Let’s try to catch all this once more in five ideas. Maybe once more five points of departure.
Just to rewrite it one more time differently.
Sure. We do believe. As written before: this PROCESS MIND as PROJECT PROPOSAL.
Refrain. And be happy. But also: understand economy.
Patio as ultimate example. However, all is about to refrain.
This proposal is not only about a method of rather different kind of interventions, interferences, and introductions specific to each situation and expectations but also about refraining. Refraining however enabling restauration and maintaining. But seeing that as enough for today needs but also in respect to what is given.
The patio is the ultimate example. Why not just confirming the yet available proposal for additional vertical circulation and other practical needs? Why not just free the below level of all by time added additions and just confirm the original spaces as good enough and available enough as they appear?
Why not just making the patio available from the rotunda? All these simple questions yet answers by themselves.
Accept. And be inspiring. But also: interfere, intervene and introduce.
The generously waiting construction details, but also the cornered balcony, or the campanili staircase around. And this is not and exhausting list of strangers.
The act of refraining leads to or is too and act of acceptance. Acceptance on how the things is. And acceptance on how now and then how strange the things are or can be. And being maybe also ratherinspired by these exceptions then by all over continuous consequent appearances at first.
Reading and cataloging these apparent and singular elements allow to introduce different but by that reading acceptable introductions, interferences, and interventions.
Reading and re-reading learns that language is more then grammar and spelling. Reading marks do let the same sentence read different. Reading the black letter or the white space in between makes difference between pure grammatical understanding and literature in all its freedom. Language is on the move. Every day. And often by the dailyness as inspiration for change.
The OPUS CRATITIUM became a real inspiration. The unluckily burned down part of the Pagliere became a chance to offer undefined but inspiring spaces. The little tower staircase at the height of Padiglione della Scherma became and excuses to more: elevators are free. And so on and so on.
Dream. And dare free. But also: take it seriously.
Contemporary art is everything, is everywhere, is every daily, is every now and every soon. Maybe the space could be also everywhere and every now and then.
If on one hand refraining and on the other hand the interventions, interferences, and introductions as instruments to (re-)read and (re-)write these both attitudes not only made a context an inspiration but also freed the mind at all. Freed the mind to reconsider everything at all.
If the city has a museum and a foundation seeks a responsible engagement and the Pagliere will guide young artist; but does a museum today or the museum of tomorrow is still the museum of yesterday?
We dared to propose a museum of sprawl. The rotunda but also the alley in between a la Mosca and Paglieri become reference points of an all over the Cavallerizia spread ensemble of space for exhibiting and performing.
The horses were all over. The museum is now all over. From the spaces yet given to the space of the bank to the patio’s and to the free spaces of the Paglieri. Nothing is bound to be only exhibition space or spaces of performance. Everything van be everything from moments of showing to times of working.
Serve. And be precise. But also: make it honest.
Provide all what is needed. And provide more than what is needed.
And all this; refraining, introducing, interfering, and intervening, as also daring; but never without serving. What needs to be served. This attitude at all is not without the professionalism to make things possible.
All spaces of exhibiting, performance and presentation need to be well equipped. This demand, this need but also this service is not in contradiction to the attitude. But since this attitude they are able to appear in an open and visible way.
The OPUS CRATITIUM became and OPERANDI CRATITIUM that alternates between restauration and innovation: it makes spaces clear and open; available and conditioned; existing and flexible.
All what is added to serve can be added as it needs to come.
(P)re-use. As be (P)re-pa(i)re. But also: (p)re-live.
At all. Nothing declines any other future. As the past is made present again. And the present make the future free. Nothing to add. As all what is added is ready to be replaced. Or to become at there turn part of a future past appreciation.
Nothing more to add. Then maybe only saying:
Maybe it is rather about:
Instead of Take away and add on.
Or maybe: last but not least
CONTINIUM of heritage to
Expressing it is all at all And every time somethings else
However all together.

Use International competition for the restoration and redevelopment of the Cavallerizza Reale di Torino
Collaborators OASI AMArchitectrue

Anton Sagal
RS Landscape
A&A Ingegneria
Projema, Mep
Segattini studio, Heritage expert
Marco Agosti, Stafano Hu, Federico Stefanoni, Wietse de Cooman, Vincent Adeyemo, Celien Demets, maša Mori,