The University of Udine’s Faculty of Humanities in the former Convent of Santa Chiara

Place Gorizia
Country Italy
Client Comune di Gorizia
Team Politecnica Ingegneria e Architettura
Assignment preliminary, definitive, detailed design phases, health and safety coordination in the design phase
Dates of services 2003 - 2005
Dates of construction 2007 - 2011
Project area 4.700 m2
Building footprint 2.300 m2

The Project

The restoration, renovation and completion work on the former Convent of Santa Chiara formed part of the City of Gorizia’s “Extraordinary Programme” of works to mark the millennium. In addition to the restoration and renovation work on the convent, which had until recently been occupied by the barracks of the Guardia di Finanza (Italy’s finance law enforcement agency), the project was also concerned with improving the seismic safety of the building and generally making it more fit for its new purpose.

More specifically, the building was destined for teaching and research use, particularly in the context of the “Cultural Heritage Management” and “Translation and Interpreting” courses offered by the University of Udine’s Faculty of Humanities, and the courses delivered by the “Laboratorio di restauro del materiale cartaceo ” (“paper media conservation workshop”).

The restoration and repurposing work extended to the complete refacing of the interior and exterior detailing and the development of a new scheme for arranging the interior spaces that was more consistent with the building’s structural requirements. It also saw the restoration of a number of precious architectural features and the renewal and stabilisation of the most major existing floor, roof and wall structures.

In terms of vertical access from one floor to another, this programme of work saw the restoration of three existing internal stairwells and the creation of a new internal stairway linking the ground, first and second floors, as well as the installation of a lift in an entirely new shaft.