Inaugurating the restoration of Palazzo Liviano with a tribute to Concetto Marchesi


The inauguration of the restorative work at Palazzo Liviano in Padua (piazza Capitaniato 7) took place on Thursday 28 September 2023.

Led by Studio Rossettini Architettura, the project involved the refurbishment of the former Liviano Complex libraries, offices, study rooms, and furnishings originally designed by Gio Ponti in the 1930s, for which the Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences, and the Ancient World is now located.

Monica Salvadori explains, "Thanks to a deep sense of dedication, and despite obstacles, including the pandemic, the goals and work of the project were completed between September 2021 and February 2023. The belief that a University is a true place of science and culture is only possible thanks to the relationship between those who occupy it through a daily practice of sharing knowledge and experiences. In fact, the plans behind the work ensures that the space continues to cultivate a university community that comes together in an organic and fruitful way. The goal is to promote innovation and creativity within the scientific, third mission, and educational framework.”

Ponti's couch

A representative from Studio Rossettini Architettura shares more, "The composition, distribution, and architectural choices carefully followed the original design where possible. Each step of the conservative restoration aimed at reconstructing the settings most in line with Gio Ponti's spatial and material mindset.”

As one of Ponti’s favorite materials, the use of glass does more than just offer the light, but rather acts as an incorruptible reflection against the wood across the yellow and gray linoleum flooring. Several uses of the original stuccos, which had lost their form overtime, were also restored.

Ensuring the originality of the black, square, and glazed tiles, the atriums and restrooms hold their retro accents, including the Palladian promenade, thanks to the renovation or otherwise reconstructed pieces. Adhering to the commitment of the University of Padua to reduce energy consumption, eco-friendly efficient light fixtures now hang throughout.  Along the stairs, the iconic glass sphere suspends like an artificial moon, which gives an unexpected salutation to students and professors as they ascend towards the upper floor.

The inauguration included a tribute to the great Latinist, member and founding father of the Italian Resistance, and former University of Padua Rector Concetto Marchesi. Aligned with busts of several scholars (by Neri Pozza), the Concetto Marchesi room marks 100 years since his arrival at the University of Padua in the autumn of 1923.

Monica Salvadori adds, "Today's inauguration is an opportunity to celebrate the naming of the central room on this second floor after Concetto Marchesi who carried out his work as a scholar and professor of Latin literature in these spaces from 1923 to 1948. This tribute is a testament to the lessons for which he gave that continues today. This room stands as a reminder to the importance of humanistic knowledge and conscious citizenship.