Ing Padellaro e Arch. Natalini

An interview with Eng. Giuseppe Padellaro 2/3

We are at the second interview collected this summer by Eng. Giuseppe Padellaro, our partner who recently left us. Let’s talk about his relationship with Prof. Arch. Adolfo Natalini, to remember him one year after his death.

When did you meet architect Adolfo Natalini?

The first time I worked with Prof. Natalini was on the occasion of the intervention of the University of Social Sciences in Novoli.I had received from the University of Florence the assignment for the administrative and technical testing during construction. It involved the construction of a series of buildings for the University born from an urban project by Lèon Krier conceived in 1993 on behalf of the Municipality of Florence. The former Fiat disused industrial area in Novoli had been completely redeveloped according to the Luxembourg architect’s guide plan, subsequently incorporated into the recovery plan by architects Gabetti and Isola.

Arch. Natalini had been commissioned by the University of Florence to develop the project of the Social Sciences Pole with the creation of the Faculties of Economics and Commerce, Law, Political Sciences and the Inter-Faculty Library. Seven buildings developed along a north-south axis that recovered a suburb, treating it as a historic center.

Photos kindly granted by Studio Natalini Associati (Ph. Pietro Savorelli)

What was your assignment like?

In fact, more than a test assignment, it was precisely an assessment and control in progress on behalf of the University of Florence, given that the contract was a project financing entrusted to Fiat Engineering S.p.A. who also had the Works Management.
Room by room we checked all the square meters, the correspondence of the materials to the project, all the switches, the sockets, everything; it was a very thorough check. Arch. Natalini followed the artistic supervision. Together we made periodic visits to the construction site, during which he explained his project to me. He had tried to re-propose a “dignified but not monotonous part of the city”. The palaces were seven “city palaces”, with double-height arcades, according to an integrative campus philosophy. Then we talked about architecture, engineering, art, Florence. The Professor was a man of great culture and a very nice interlocutor. I always looked forward to the day of these “walks” with pleasure. It was during the construction of the Polo that our professional relationship was consolidated.
Later I met him many times, even though we no longer had the opportunity to work together until the works for theo Opera Duomo Museum in Florence.

Can you tell us something about the expansion works of  Opera Duomo Museum in Florence?

Of course! It was one of the last major assignments I’ve been on. Together with my daughters with Studio Padellaro Associati I was in charge of the control of the extension works of the Museum, a sort of support to the Sole Processor.

The architectural restoration and museum layout project was carried out by Natalini Architetti together with Guicciardini & Magni Architetti. Professor Natalini was also the General Director of Works.
I have the honor to say that the New Opera Museum was built in the right time, without a euro more than the cost estimates. We were four (two surveyors, surveyor Chellini and surveyor Giari, myself and my daughter, architect Giovanna Padellaro) and our work began in the morning at 6 and continued until the evening at 20. One of us was always present .
Every Tuesday we had a meeting to organize the week’s work with all the designers, the construction managers, the testers, the companies involved, the Sole Processors, its assistants and often the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Opera. The meeting was always followed by a visit to the construction site to check the progress of the work. A great harmony had been created among the Professionals, all of a high level.

The Professor has never missed a meeting.
He was a man always present on the construction site. I have always felt very comfortable with him. It was really a pleasure to listen to him. I believe, among other things, that he was very happy to follow such a prestigious job right in the heart of the historic center of Florence, a city that he particularly loved and of which he knew every stone.
The construction site lasted three years. We have witnessed the entire progress of the work, from archaeological excavations to multimedia equipment, up to the restoration of works of art.
It was a great job!

The cover photo was kindly granted by Studio Guicciardini & Magni Architetti
Some images of the Opera Duomo Museum are taken from (Ph. Matteo Vistocco – Ph. Matin Hosseinzadeh)

Arch. Giovanna Padellaro e Arch. Nicoletta Sadun

Nicoletta Sadun

Sara Basile

Giovanna Padellaro

Marco Biagiotti