Cima Grappa Military Shrine

Place Monte Grappa, Crespano del Grappa
Country Italy
Client Italian Council of Ministers
Team Politecnica Ingegneria e Architettura, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners S.r.l., Parallelo, Bit Movie
Assignment preliminary, definitive, detailed design phases, health and safety coordination in the design and construction phases, site supervision
Dates of services 2016
Project area 300.000 m2
Building footprint 22.000 m2

The Project

Within the activities planned to commemorate the Great War, the restoration of the Cima Grappa military shrine plays a special, leading role.  The main aim of the project is to keep meaning and memories alive over time, through the preservation of the monument and by enhancing its natural surroundings. The site is extremely important due to the numerous events experienced there, which architect and monument designer Giovanni Greppi captured so brilliantly in the interplay between architecture and landscape.

During the conflict, due to its strategic position between two rivers (the Brenta and the Piave), the mountain was a stronghold and –  within the changing face of the front lines – a key location for the counteroffensive. This role in the war lead to dramatic changes to the mountain, which did not end with the end of the conflict but continued afterwards, to provide those soldiers who had sacrificed their lives there with a dignified place of rest.

Today, the Cima Grappa military shrine is one the most appreciated of its kind, receiving around 900,000 visitors per year despite being located at an altitude of 1800 metres above sea level. The distance from the bottom of the shrine’s central staircase to the small observatory to the north, after the former NATO base, is around 1500 m as the crow flies and the projection of the abstract rectangle enclosing  the project areas measures over 300,000 m2.

The shrine’s footprint measures 22,000 sqm and it includes almost 1,000 m of tunnels and underground crypt space containing ossuaries, all of which has been fully restored and rendered accessible to visitors, and includes a comprehensive range of professional architectural and engineering design features.