#noveparole. 1 - Threshold | La Venaria Reale

#noveparole. 1 - Threshold

Gian Luca Favetto tells the history and the achitecture of the Reggia di Venaria in a journey throughout nine words.

Nine stages, nine ideas and nine spaces take you on a journey through the Palace, seen from a new perspective. More than just a tour of a stately home, this is story of the Reggia and of the emotions and ideas it evokes. It is many things: a building, a residence, an urban design project, a metaphor, a Utopia and a symbol of power. It is the fruit of a vision whose stratification of styles and eras remains true to every period of history that has passed through its walls.

Words are small things, but they contain images, some of them immense. They hold emotions and sentiments which are infinite, and indefinable. They hold the past and the future, weaving stories in which we can see ourselves.

These nine words are like an archipelago of islands, waiting for you to explore.

Idea and voice: Gian Luca Favetto
Graphic design: Leandro Agostini
Editing: Gianluca Negro
A project by the Consorzio delle Residenze Reali Sabaude


1 - THRESHOLD

This open space is the starting point and also a point of departure, like a mirror reflecting the village to the Palace, and vice-versa.

From whichever angle they approach, no traveller can fail to be in awe of this building. Suddenly there it is before you: wondrously masterful, utopian and incomplete. The result is a sensation of harmony.

Here, between the Piazza della Repubblica and the Courtyard, between the Republic and the Savoy Palace, is the threshold. Walk underneath the Clock Tower and you will see that this is a liminal space is like a shoreline, where the water meets the land. The piazza, with its cobblestones and Luserna stone has an undulating effect, stretching out like the sea. Beyond the gate is the courtyard, adorned with a fountain, the buildings and, of course, the gardens.

This is where the inside meets the outside. The threshold is not just physical, but is also made up of intangible history. This is where the 16th and 17th centuries meet the present day, and it is this that gives the sense of contemporary you can sense at the Royal Venaria. It is not just a building, it is a planning concept. 

The Reggia is a permanent work in progress; its charm lies in its being a real-life cultural project, a building but also a dream that began when Charles Emmanuel II of Savoy acquired the land in 1658.

The first stone was laid in 1659, and after that came the transformation of the 18th century, which took four great architects - Amedeo di Castellamonte, Michelangelo Garove, Filippo Juvarra and Benedetto Alfieri - two centuries to complete. The estate was then abandoned, and the recovery work began in 1998. The penultimate stone will be put in place the day after tomorrow. The last one? Perhaps never.

Centuries have passed through this building, along with royalty, the populace and the military. It is history in the pure sense, and it is also many different histories.

La Venaria Reale remains an open book. Now you, too, can read its story.

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