It is a city of lovely 19th century arcades. Seems very French, but you find them too in the old Palazzo Reale.
They are very civilized, especially with a nice pastry shop and cafe. Nothing like the lifeless arcades of the Federal Triangle in Washington. Or the Mussolin-era arcades on the Via Roma in Turin.
(How I miss the rich desserts you don't find in Spain).
And I love the neon. But I also felt a bit hemmed in.
The overall effect is like the perfect postmodern city of the Tendenza. Surprising how few stories are on top of the arcades. And how much space they consume in the buildings (my hotel was in one). Inside, the buildings have large patios, often with rich gardens.
I found a couple of these monumental covered galleries as well. So grand!
Someone told me that this was Agelli's heliport. Don't know. The Pinoteca building on the roof is by Renzo Piano.
I walked around the neighborhood between Fiat at the River Po and found some surprisingly well-crafted working class housing, from the 1950s and 60s, I would guess. What happened to Italian architecture? My latest theory: too much Marxism, sociology and massification destroyed the schools, and architects lost their sense of building craft. The only figure that this system produced was Tafuri.
|Source: The Map Shop|
It was delightful to see how seedy and rather skin-deep the palace actually was on its garden side.
Are the origins of the plaza in a fortified castle with walls and moat? In the middle of the plaza is the medieval Palazzo Madama, with what looks like a late Baroque facade stuck on the end looking back to the Via Garibaldi.
|The Baroque city - ignore the red lines. Source: La Torino Barroco|
Together with the new opera, another stranger intruding on this square is a Mussolini-era tower towards the Via Roma. I did rather like it:
|Source: Antiestetica: La torre arraogante|
Neither did I manage to photograph well Guarini's fabulous red brick Palazzo Carignano, where the first parliament of a unified Italy met. Here are views of the interior and details of the brick courtyard, and a facade shot I found on the web. The swelling main facade manages to include an oval rotunda open to the patio on the ground floor and sweeps of curving staircases on each side. He really was the Frank Furness of his day:
|Source:Townhouse 70 Torino|
Here's the project that brought me to Turin, the new Porta Susa High-Speed Train Station.
See my blog report on the station here. It's very much at home with the arcaded streets of the city, the long boulevards and Lingotto.