Il Collegio di Propaganda Fide e Gaspare De Vecchi. La costruzione dell'ala orientale e il rifacimento del palazzo Ferratini
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: 69, 2019
The Pontifical Urban College de Propaganda Fide was established in Rome by Pope Urban VIII under the care of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide. The idea of founding an international college for young missionaries is attributed to Giovanni Battista Vives, as early as the first decade of the seventeenth century, who initially held the meetings at his house in Piazza di Spagna. Subsequently, on the death of Cardinal Bartolomeo Ferratini, Vives bought the building in the “platea Trinitatis” (Piazza di Spagna) and donated it to the future college. In 1633, Antonio Barberini, the Cardinal of Sant’Onofrio and Urban VIII’s brother, started expansion works on the building as it was no longer adequate for the large number of missionaires. In December 1639, the foundations of the new building, designed by architect Gaspare De Vecchi, were laid in today’s Via dei Due Macelli, on the east side of the building. This study intends to highlight the events related to the period immediately preceding the works carried out by Francesco Borromini, and in particular the work done by De Vecchi, not only on the eastern side of the building but also during the reconstruction of the Ferratini building to create new spaces for the Stamperia, and in the contribution given to the layout of the rest of the building, then finished by Borromini. Today’s façade on the Via dei Due Macelli side of the building was until recently considered the work of De Vecchi, but it was actually the result of two successive projects designed by Andrea and Clemente Busiri Vici between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.