Il Real Albergo dei Poveri fra restauro critico e interpretazione filologica
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: 73-74, 2021
The Real Albergo dei Poveri between critical restoration and philological interpretation
In 1749, called in Naples by Charles I of Bourbon, Ferdinando Fuga designed a building “for all the poor of the Kingdom”, translating social and hygienic rules into a typological organization of a “machine à habiter”. The immense unfinished container, modified and divided over time, reduced to overlapping phases, contaminations, destinations, partially collapsed after the earthquake of 1980. The knowledge, acquired through historical-archival research, analysis and direct observations, surveys, non-destructive investigations and analyzes on the nature and degradation of materials, led to the conservation and reuse solutions.
The project is philological, in the respect of history and pre-existing structures, critical, with case-by-case evaluations, and compatible, for integrated technologies and forms. Based on the principle of “alliance between generations”, past contributions are recognized, current methods of intervention on heritage are defended, without compromising their transmission to future generations. The role of history and cognitive tools, in a “circular” relationship with the restoration, allows a “philological” recovery of knowledge, even when the non-unitary text cannot return definitive and conclusive definitions. Today this utopian machine still awaits further urgent interventions and immediate reuse, based on integration and opportunities of being a civitas.