The concept of building restoration is closely tied up with that of environmental sustainability because it involves reusing existing buildings to achieve the goal of zero land consumption. These kinds of architectural projects are far from trivial, however, because they must find solutions suited to the new uses of the buildings, which often differ significantly from their original functions.
The conference will be moderated by Fulvio Irace and will be divided into two parts devoted to two different architectural projects carried out in Sicily: Casa Asilo and Palazzo Butera.
Award-winning Italian architect Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo will present the Casa Asilo project, which involved redeveloping a former kindergarten (a building intended for public use) and converting it into a private residence.
Architect Giovanni Cappelletti will present the Palazzo Butera project in Palermo. In many ways this is the exact opposite of the kindergarten project as it involves restoring a sumptuous private villa and opening it up for public use by the city’s residents as an art workshop.
Giovanni Cappelletti More
Giovanni Cappelletti (Saronno 1960) studied at the University Institute of Architecture of Venice (IUAV). In 1987, he joined Mario Bellini’s practice in Milan, where he continued to work until 2014. In 1992, he founded the practice Alter together with Luigi Bertazzoni, Paolo Vasino and Rina Agostino and continued to collaborate with the studio until 1996.
In 1993, he was appointed project manager at Mario Bellini Associati (MBA), focusing mainly on exhibition design and museum architecture and design. Examples of his projects include: “Il Rinascimento da Brunelleschi a Michelangelo. La rappresentazione dell’architettura” held in Palazzo Grassi in Venice in 1994; “I Farnese: Arte e Collezionismo” curated by Lucia Fornari Schianchi and Nicola Spinosa and held in the Ducal Palace of Colorno in 1995; “Immagini del Sentire. I cinque sensi nella storia dell’arte” curated by Sylvia Ferino-Pagden from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and held in the former church of Santa Maria della Pietà in Cremona in 1997 and subsequently at the Prado Museum in Madrid in 1998; restoration of Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio and design of the museum layout to house the collections owned by the Museo della Città di Bologna (2009-2012).
From 2015 to 2021, he was in charge of the architectural restoration and museum design project for Palazzo Butera in Palermo.
In 2021, he embarked on a project to restore Palazzo Piraino in Palermo and convert it into a study and research centre linked to the cultural activities of Palazzo Butera. Work on the site began in spring 2022.
Since 2021 he has served as Vice Chairman of the Butera Foundation.
Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo More
Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo
After graduating, she taught alongside Prof. Franco Minissi on the Restoration course at the University of Rome La Sapienza. In 1980, she moved to Turin where she collaborated with Fiat Engineering on the project for the redevelopment of historic town centres in the Basilicata region. In 1986 she moved to Sicily, where she has lived ever since. She won the RIBA Awards/EU in 2005 and 2012. In 2012, she was awarded the Milan Triennale Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement. In 2008, she was one of the five architects invited to participate in the competition for the curatorship and design of the Italian Pavilion at the 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture. In 2016, the jury of the 15th Venice Biennale of Architecture awarded her a Special Mention for the installation Onore Perduto (“Lost Honour”) with which she participated in the exhibition “Reporting from the front” curated by Alejandro Aravena. In 2018, she participated in the FREESPACE exhibition curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara at the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture. In 2019, she was awarded an honorary degree in Building Engineering - Architecture by the University of Catania. In 2021 she won the INARCH National Lifetime Achievement Award, joined the National Academy of San Luca and won the Italian Architecture Award for the best building assigned by Milan Triennale and MAXXI.
Fulvio Irace More
Architect and Professor of history of architecture, Milan Polytechnic
Fulvio Irace is a full professor of “History of Architecture” at Milan Polytechnic, where he holds the History of Contemporary Architecture chair at the Faculty of Civil Architecture and the Faculty of Design; he is also a visiting professor at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, and a member of the board of teachers for the PhD course in “History of Architecture and Town Planning” at Turin Polytechnic.
He is a member of the scientific committee of the Vico Magistretti Foundation and is on the board of trustees of the Piano Foundation.
In 2008-2009 he was a member of the jury for the Mies van der Rohe European Prize.
From 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Milan Triennial and curator of the Architecture and Territory sector.
One of the founders of the national association AAI (Archivi di Architettura Italia – Italian Architectural Archives), he is one of the promoters of the “Architecture and Design” section of CASVA (Centro alti studi e valorizzazione delle arti – the Centre for Higher Studies and Valorisation of the Arts) of the Municipality of Milan.
Architectural editor for the publications “Domus” and “Abitare”, he has worked with the most important national and international magazines in the sector, and in 2005 was awarded the Inarch Bruno Zevi Prize for architectural criticism. Since 1986 he has been an opinionist in the field of architecture for the Sunday Supplement of “Il Sole 24 Ore”.
Attentive to the historiographies of Italian architecture between the two World Wars, to which he has dedicated much work through various exhibitions and publications, more recently his studies have concentrated on contemporary Italian architecture, and the figure of Renzo Piano, the subject of various monographs and an important exhibition at the Milan Triennial.
In the field of criticism and historical methodology he is the author of the following works: Dimenticare Vitruvio, 2001 and 2008; Le città visibili: Renzo Piano 2006; Divina Proporzione, 2007; Gio Ponti, 2009.
He has curated a number of architectural exhibitions.