Architect Gianluca Gelmini transformed an old fortified building in Bergamo, Italy, into a beautiful modern space meant to accommodate a public library. Torre del Borgo is dominated by iron ramps and walkways and is part of a larger project that aims to redevelop the public spaces of Bergamo's Piazza del Borgo.
The building dates back to medieval times when it functioned as a fortified structure. As part of a restoration project the old stone structure was restored and renovated in order to accommodate public and commercial functions to become part of public life. The original structure had many shortcomings: the structural instability of the walls and floors, the lack of an adequate system of connection between areas, degradation and precariousness of internal and external stone facings, lack of windows and adequate interior finishes on floors and walls. Gelmini decided to approach the problem by pursuing a dual approach: identify the problems of degradation and offer a solution that will reinterpret the building appearance and role within the city.
Two functional lots were established: the first one comprises four halls of the central tower and service spaces located in a new adjoining building. A system of iron ramps and walkways connects the spaces of the central tower and the new building. Lot 2 will focus on the redevelopment of the public piazza through the introduction of new pavement and a large covered area.