On our most recent day trip, we took a train all the way to Turin near the French border. When we first walked out of the train station, the cold was crippling. But as we started walking around the city, it soon turned out to be a pleasant, fun day. My favorite parts of our visit were the first two things we saw: the Olympic construction and the Fiat factory. From the modern walking bridge, we were able to spot a few of the buildings completed for the Winter Olympics in 2006, including the athletes’ village and the speed skating stadium. After that, we walked around the old Fiat factory and got to see the test track that goes around the whole roof. This experience was quite different from most of our other day trips as we saw more modern designs and specialized architecture.
This week all 17 of us stumbled our way to Torino after a weekend in Barcelona. We stopped first at the old fiat factory that now has been converted into retail space with an art gallery and museum at the top level. After walking through the gallery of Henri Matisse artwork we walked onto the roof of the factory where they used to test drive the cars. Guidi let us run up one of the curves while she pretended that we were an uncontrollable group and there was simply nothing she could do. The morning was the only time that we spent in that part of Torino, we caught a metro into the heart of Torino to see historic churches and piazzas. We stopped at Chiesa Sant Lorenzo after lunch. As soon as we walked in all of us were mesmerized by the intricate ceiling. The church was designed without and intricate facade and no windows. The only opening to light is at the top of the ceiling, this feature was a purposeful feature of the architect. The meaning behind only having one light source at the top of the building is so that you look up to the creator. The sketch above shows the ceiling.
When we arrived in Torino this Tuesday, I was surprised that we were in a city because there was absolutely no people around. We were in the industrial district, which hosted many of the 2006 Olympic events, but now looks more abandoned. It was strange to see random large scale infrastructure and design put in place for this event and that are barely being used in any capacity now. However the Fiat Lingotto building seemed to be functioning quite well as a renovated car factory. I especially enjoyed a taking a stroll around the ramped curve of the rooftop test track. After a brief subway ride we entered the more central part of the city, where people out in the open. We passed through a few beautiful palazzos, and later we saw San Lorenzo Church which was one of my favorite I have seen so far. It had an intrigue dome structure as well as unique lighting conditions. The last thing we saw was a synagogue call Mole Antonelliana, which I think is the first we have seen so far. As one of the tallest structures in the Torino skyline, it is an important element of the city, however it never actually functioned as the Jewish community center it was meant to be because the architect had other plans for the structure. Either way I was excited to see a synagogue after so many churches, especially one that looks like a temple on top of a temple. Torino proved to be a very interesting city, and hopefully I can go back again.
This past Tuesday we found ourselves in Turin, site of the 2006 Olympic games. When we first arrived, we walked from the train station through the Olympic Village and across the Olympic Arch of Turin. The Arch was specifically built for the Olympic games to connect the new Olympic Village to the Lingotto area. The Arch was by far the coolest structure I saw in Turin and that is why it was one of my sketches. After we crossed the Arch of Turin we spent some time in Fiat Lingotto. The building was built by Fiat, the car company, and opened in 1926 with 5 floors each for a different stage of car production. On the 5th and final floor there is a test track for finished cars. My other sketch is of a simple park we pasted by as we walked through Turin. Overall I really liked Turin, it was a big city that had a good atmosphere and was not overrun with tourist.
One of the first things we did when we arrived in Torino was walk across a beautiful, streamlined bridge. All of us stopped to take pictures of the bridge and our beautiful surroundings. Finally Giuditta told us it was time to move on and see the rest of the city. As we started to walk off the bridge, I reached into my purse for my phone so I could take one last picture. I started to freak out and a million thoughts started to race through my head. My phone wasn’t in my purse! My phone had all of my trip pictures on it! I had to find it! Where could it be?!? I remembered that I had set my phone down on a bridge railing and raced back across the bridge to where I had been taking pictures earlier. When I got to the other side of the bridge, I could not find my phone anywhere. I decided to take another look in my purse and searched through all of its pockets. I sighed with relief as I found my iPhone tucked away in a pocket I rarely use. I zipped my purse up and sprinted back across the bridge where my friends were waiting for me.
Our field studies in Torino this week started with a walk through the Olympic Village from the 2006 winter Olympics. The area was nearly deserted as we walked across a suspension bridge towards what looked like an abandoned factory. With little expectations, we faithfully followed Giuditta. The building was indeed a factory, built to manufacture Fiat cars in the 1920’s. With rapidly changing technology the manufacturing method the building was designed for quickly became obsolete. Rather than abandoning the massive building, the city launched a competition and the result was an ingenious repurposing of the space. Renzo Piano was the winning architect who conceived of a multipurpose space to house retail, restaurants, and art galleries. The central courtyard was transformed to a relaxation garden for the employees that can be seen from nearly all the interior spaces. The most intriguing part was original Fiat test track preserved on the roof of the building – this was the final step in the assembly process before the cars left the site. Inside, the ramps between levels were also kept to both function for circulation and preserve the memory of the building’s origins.
On this Travel Tuesday we ventured to Torino, yes the spot where the 2006 Winter Olympics were held – pretty stinkin’ cool. We started at the old Fiat factory which has been converted to a large mall (similar to the ones in the US) and an art gallery. The whole building was redesigned by Renzo Piano in the 80s. We then moved to Via Roma which is the main shopping area in Torino. The above is a sketch standing in a park looking down Via Roma. I initially did not like Torino, because it felt empty, but as the day went on the city grew on me. Its consistent style of architecture and grandeur because familiar and made me feel welcomed in some strange way. I would like to go back to Torino and enjoy it more – by the end of the day, I did not want to leave, but alas the Villa and Cristina’s cooking called me home.
Till next Travel Tuesday. Ciao.
We found ourselves this Tuesday walking around under an overcast sky in surprisingly warm Torino. We saw the Fiat Lingotto production building which has been transformed into a shopping center, designed by Renzo Piano. On the top there is a test track that was used for the cars, which is accessed by two spiraling ramps on either side of the building. Piano also added an art gallery and a glass sphere which can be rented out for events. After the tour of this building and a view of the Olympic Speed Skating arena, we moved into the heart of the city, where we visited a number of piazzas and a couple of churches.
The Mole Antonelliana is a landmark of Torino. It was originally supposed to be a Jewish synagogue, however the architect, Alessandro Antonelli did not get along with the Jewish community. Construction time took too long, and the costs increased, resulting in a halt of construction. Four years later, the city exchanged other land for a synagogue, and construction continued, resulting in the tall spire seen today – 167 meters.
On Tuesday we traveled to Turin, a city slightly north of Genova, site of the 2006 Winter Olympics. As we got off the train, the remnants of their time in the global spotlight were evident. Most notably the pedestrian bridge connecting the Olympic Village with the Fiat Factory Building and the Speed Skating Arena. A monumental object towering over the railway tracks and apartment buildings the bridge is a suspended from a single arch. It’s powerful presence is only trumped by the not-to-distant Alps. At the end of the bridge is the Fiat Factory, now a menagerie of shops, restaurants, meeting rooms and one museum, topped by a race track used in the past to test Fiat cars. Protruding from the roofline of the factory is a helipad and “bubble” designed by Piano Architects. Read as a perfectly balanced system, the addiction is used in a number of ways to serve the community and programs of the factory. The combination of theses structures evokes a experience of Iconography and adaptive reuse.
On Tuesday we had another exciting Field study trip. It was a farther one to travel to than some of the other ones. We went to Turin (Torino). I really liked this city; it was a really interesting place. The first thing we visited was the Fiat company’s old factory. It was a cool building for its architecture and having a test track on its roof. After we left there, we went to Via Roma. This street had many of the piazzas and palaces that we were going to look at in Torino. The beginning of the street at the train station however was actually my favorite part. It was a simple small park area. It had a beautiful fountain. The green space was being used by many people of the city. I enjoyed just being in the park for the little bit of time I was in there.