Urban villa
Palazzina Tiziano
De Riso, Domenico | Rome, Italy | 1962
Image of Palazzina ...
Via dei Sansovino facade

ProjectPalazzina Tiziano
ArchitectDe Riso, Domenico
AddressViale Tiziano/Via dei Sansovino
Building TypeUrban villa
Number of Dwellingsc.16 plus penthouse
Date Built1962
Dwelling Types1,2,3,& 4 BR flats
No. Floors8
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
concrete, brick, stone, metal windows, wood blinds
Construction TypeRC frame, masonry walls
Ancillary Services3 floors office space, basement parking

Palazzina Tiziano is an example of a type of small apartment building that was built in different districts around central Rome between the 1930’s and 1970’s. Referred to as palazzina, (small palaces) because they resembled the traditional Roman palace, they were often built on open sites that were suitable for smaller speculative projects often incorporating additional uses such as shops and offices. (See Palazzina Rea for a description of the palazzina building type) Combining ideas from palazzo, and villa precedents, palazzine continued the height, density, and spatial alignment of their surroundings; new palaces that were now to be communally occupied. A few examples of palazzine in Rome include Luigi Moretti’s Astra Co-op (1949) and especially, his seminal work il Girasole (1954), several buildings by Mario Ridolfi and Wolfgang Frankl and the team of Vicenzo Monaco and Amedeo Luccichenti that were built in the 1950’s and 60’s, and the conversion of an old villa to new apartments on Via Aldrovandi (1961), by F. Baliva and Alessandro De Rossi.

Built in a linear district of new buildings extending north from the walls of the city along the route of the ancient road, the Via Flaminia, this 8-story building is representative of a tendency in Rome in the 1960’s to mix commercial, offices, and housing in the same building. This building is one of a row of about 12 free-standing palazzini that were built on narrow blocks that border Via Flaminia near the 1960 Olympic Village and define several smaller public spaces on side streets and enclose gardens between buildings. The stratification of housing above, shops below-- the traditional piano nobile organization here is expanded to form a 2-story base of shops and offices, a, 4-story cantilevered zone of apartments and offices above this and set back on top, two penthouse floors. The building is organized around a double stair between two circular courts that form an entry lobby and entrance spaces at each floor. Ranging in size from studio to 3-bedrooms, the flats are located in the corners and are all different. The flats have a small balconies that align vertically to form critical compositional elements on the facades.

The three facades fronting the principle streets maintain the continuity of building surface along the street while the south elevation, opens to viale Tiziano and forms a parking piazzale. These facades are nearly identical and demonstrate the use of a set of remarkable surface effects. Each of the three facades is divided vertically into undulating and flat sections that merge into a continuous surface At the corners, the curved section of wall is cantilevered forward of the plane of the structural frame that is expressed by the ends of the beams that extend slightly forward of the plane of the brick wall. The beam-ends align with continuous spandrels between floors that are slightly recessed from the surface plane of the brick wall. A vertical zone of small balconies and the full-height windows of the living rooms articulate the flat section of wall. The office function is expressed as two floors of continuous horizontal glass. The upper row of office windows in this zone, however, is treated as part of the brick wall and serves to heighten the sense of piano nobile traditions. The structural expression of cantilever is repeated at each floor forming continuous recessed panels that are articulated with the protruding ends of the cantilevered beams. The seeming contradiction between concrete frame and masonry construction (infill vs. membrane) is clarified by the use of stacked coursing in the brick walls and the interruption of the masonry surface made by the spandrels. Even with the discontinuity of the brick wall, the impression is one of a dense, masonry wall consistent with the palazzo tradition.

De Gutty, Irene, Guida Di Roma Moderna. De Luca Editore, Roma, 1978, p. 97.

Rossi, Piero Ostilio, Roma; Guida ll’architettura moderna 1909-2000, Editori Laterza, Roma, 2000, p. 236.

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