The FAI days: 3 suggestions of industrial architecture in Italy

October 10, 2019

This weekend the national FAI Autumn Days are back, with many cultural assets to visit throughout Italy!

There are more than 1,000 places throughout Italy that can be visited with an offer to the association during the Autumn Days. The contributions will be used by the National Association for the Conservation of Monuments and Works of Art.

The history of work and industry in Three Places to visit on FAI's October days

1 - In Milan, the futuristic and environmentalist Italgen hydroelectric plant in Vaprio d'Adda

Italgen hydroelectric power plant of Vaprio d'Adda - Ph

Piero Portaluppi was a great urban planner and architect between the two wars, to whom important works of industrial architecture were commissioned, in particular in the field of hydroelectric power plants, but also of important civil works by the bourgeoisie of Miano.
The Italgen hydroelectric plant in Vaprio d’Adda, opened for the first time to the public on this occasion, was built in the 1950s with a project that included elements typical of the architectural style of Portaluppi, between modernity and tradition. The architecture and the cutting-edge technology do not lack suggestions, inspired by the engineer from the era of great revolutions and industrial and technological discoveries. With its 20.900kW of power, the plant supplies both the national electricity grid and some local industrial plants.
Two Kaplan turbines dominate the main building, and you can also see the generators, the control cabin and ancillary rooms. No less interesting is the fish climbing ladder, designed to allow the natural migration of fish and the river restoration project.

3 - La Spezia: 150 years of military port

The Military Port of La Spezia, open during the Autumn FAI days - Ph.

In the capital of the Levante Ligure on the Gulf of Poets, the Military Arsenal opens up, a monument of industrial archeology as well as Italian history, which this year celebrates 150 years from its inauguration.
Strongly desired by Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, who understood the potential of the natural port of La Spezia, the imposing military structure radically changed the life and structure of the then small seafaring village, which in a very short time increased its population by a thousand, giving work to thousands of workers from all over Italy. For a long time, in the Military Arsenal of La Spezia the excellence of the military navy and not only was cultivated. From the spaces of the military structure, still a primary military base, Guglielmo Marconi carried out the first experiments on telecommunications.

During the two days of the FAI, concerts and visits to schools will be organized. On Sundays, the Marconian sailboat will take place on the course of radio waves. Creation and consumption of an on-board menu by the Istituto Alberghiero Casini.

3- Acnia di Cengio: an important environmental remediation intervention

Ex- Acnia di Cengio PH.

An important industrial reality in the Bormida Valley, a Site of National Interest with a high environmental risk. Cengio ACNA was active as a dye factory from 1929 to 1999, but its activity began in 1882 as Dinamificio Barbieri.

Today, Eni’s company is completing the environmental remediation work in an important reclamation project that visitors will be able to understand, retracing the history of this industrial site and the visit to the inside of the plant and to the large Tower, where visitors will be able to appreciate the remediation work carried out and the progress of the work.

For FAI members only, by bus, it will be possible to visit the area of the water treatment plant and see the capping carried out as part of the reclamation works. Departures at 11.00, 12.00, 15.00 and 16.00.

Teresa Turano



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