La riscoperta e il restauro di un'architettura di Bramante a Viterbo: la restituzione del monumento tra rievocazione e reinterpretazione
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: n.s. 2019, 2020
The rediscovery and restoration of an architecture by Bramante in Viterbo: the recovery of the monument
between re-enactment and reinterpretation
Documents dating from 1506 and 1508 attest to Bramante’s presence in the work commissioned by Julius II in Viterbo’s Rocca Albornoz, who builds two porticoed facades with loggias in the large courtyard. The functionality of the residence was completed by the external Stables, made up of three aisles measuring 64 meters in length, covered by cross vaulting. The removal of the high layer of rubble accumulated inside, led to the discovery of 24 columns with capitals of the Tuscan order, 4 meters and 52 cm high. The problem was of how to ‘restore’ the monument, recalling its internal spatiality and external configuration. A fundamental operation was to relocate all the columns (reassembled and consolidated) on their bases preserved in situ, anchoring them with appropriate anti-seismic devices, with the intention of recovering the original spatial configuration of a portion of the Stables.
Partial reconstruction of the upper floor in South area has been planned –using collapsed stones– to document the height and configuration of the Bramante building. In the central area the memory of the nineteenth-Century history of the building has been preserved in the transverse walls of the Prisons that delimit two minor cross vaults, to be consolidated and integrated as a testament to the original construction technique. The Northern area has been left uncovered, repositioning the columns as in an ‘archaeological’ site. The rescue of an important monument was made possible thanks to historical knowledge; the restitution of the image of the collapsed building implied ‘subjective’ choices, as in any critical restoration project, which, although based on the ability to recognize historical ‘values’, has at its base a reinterpretation.