Austrian Arsenal Franz Joseph I

Place Verona
Country Italy
Client Municipality of Verona
Team Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura with F&M Ingegneria, SAMA Scavi Archeologici, Monica Endrizzi, Gianni De Stefani
Assignment General management, definitive and detailed design phase for architecture and structures, BIM management, energy aspects, health and safety coordination in the design phase
Dates of services 2019 - 2020
Project area 67.900 m2
Building footprint 12.350 m2

The Project

Requalifying and enhancing the historical and architectural heritage is for Politecnica a daily challenge that requires knowledge, technical skills and deep respect. In line with this philosophy we have followed the conservative restoration of the roofs and the seismic safety of the Austrian Arsenal Franz Joseph I in Verona.

The complex interior is the subject of a program inaugurated by the City of Verona and called “Art District”. Once renovated, the Arsenal will become a meeting place for Verona’s citizens and tourists and will host the Academy of Fine Arts, a large park and an urban market, as well as new exhibition and event spaces for young people, innovation, technology and the environment. A new international district obtained through the recovery and enhancement of ancient places, returned to the community and future generations.

The complex is located in a key place in the city of Verona, on the peninsula called “della Campagnola”, on the left bank of the river Adige connected to Castelvecchio and to the city centre by the Scaligero bridge. The Hapsburg plant, whose construction began in 1855, is made up of 14 buildings with architectural features and materials typical of the Scaligera building tradition. From a morphological and construction point of view, as well as from a conservation point of view, they are in very different conditions.

In this first phase of securing and consolidating all the buildings, the use of BIM has allowed a coherent and effective integration between the various specialist disciplines involved, to the benefit of the overall quality and conservation of the historic building. The detailed acquisition of the survey data (Total Station, 3D Laser Scanner, long-metric and photographic survey) and historical and archival research have allowed the identification, in the evolution of the factory and in the definition of the architectural style, of the significant elements to be preserved.

Subsequently, through reconstruction and detailed study, basis were laid for understanding and drafting a targeted restoration project for the complex.

The first consolidation and safety interventions concerned the central courtyard and then the side buildings, in order to guarantee accessibility to the compendium. From the studies it was essential to intervene first on the roofs, as the greatest damage was found where the roofs were missing, while the foundations are well preserved.

The project also includes the recovery of existing beams and trusses as well as reinforcement with bracing and stiffening systems to improve the support points of the new roofs. New grafting elements will be inserted, also providing both thermal and acoustic insulation. All the damaged wooden elements will be replaced and fibre tapes and nails will be used to reinforce the upper part of the buildings.

After the redevelopment works, the Arsenal will be ready for the phase that will lead it to host new and important functions. An important piece of the city that once regenerated and enhanced will be returned to the community.