Aici Engineering performed the structural, material and degradation geometric survey service, the verification of seismic vulnerability and seismic restoration and consolidation interventions, on behalf of the Metropolitan City of the Government building located in Naples, Piazza del plebiscito.
For the purposes of a complete and meticulous knowledge of the monumental body, a diligent historical-critical research with on-site and laboratory investigations on the materials was necessary.
The geometric, architectural and structural survey, together with the determination of the seismic risk, has made it possible to understand in detail the actions to be prepared to improve and adapt the building in the face of any earthquakes.
The historical, archival, bibliographic and iconographic analysis of one of the most representative buildings in Naples has defined its evolutionary process, highlighting the strong link with the square in front.
Located north of Piazza del Plebiscito, the Prefecture, originally Palazzo della Foresteria, was built on the remains of the Convent of Santo Spirito, built in 1326.
Ferdinand I in 1815 wanted to build the building to house foreigners who came to visit the Bourbon court. He entrusted the work to the architect Leopoldo Laperuta (Portici, 1771 – Naples, 1858).
The work was then eminently renovated by the architect Antonio Niccolini who redesigned the 34 internal rooms, reviving their fate as a Bourbon guest house, preceded by the function of Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the royal government of Gioacchino Murat.
The trapezoidal building is set in the scenario of the Largo di Palazzo between the imposing presence of the Royal Palace (17th century), the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola (begun in 1816 and completed in 1846) and the Palazzo Salerno (18th century).
It extends between Via Chiaia, Piazza Carolina, Piazza Trieste and Trento, and Piazza del Plebiscito.
The neoclassical facade, with two orders of smooth and sober composure, is surmounted by a pavilion roof.
On the side that projects onto Piazza del Plebiscito, the lower floor is characterized by a platform or base covered in gray plaster: here is the piperno portal flanked by two pairs of Tuscan semi-columns supporting the entablature.
The upper order stands out for the gray pilasters on a Pompeian red background to replicate the dichromatic color typical of Bourbon architecture.
On the rear facade another portal extends onto via Chiaia.
Inside the facade on Piazza Trieste e Trento is the entrance to the Caffè Gambrinus.
From the outset, the ground floor of the building was occupied by shops, and the elegant halls of the Gran Caffè (1816), which later became, in 1860, the Caffè Gambrinus, dominated Largo San Ferdinando.
A place that immediately took the form of the beating heart of the city, the meeting place of the aristocracy, politics and literature.
Inside it is possible to admire valuable frescoes, stuccos, statues and paintings from the late nineteenth century, and works by Gabriele D’Annunzio and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.
AICI ENGINEERING has carried out a precise description of the state of conservation and an analysis of the instability and degradation of the Prefecture building.
Construction anomalies, symptomatic of successive stratifications, exfoliations, incrustations and rising damp appear particularly distinguishable, as well as the damage to the plaster which causes, in several points, its disintegration and detachment.
Inside there are numerous sub-vertical cracks that also affect the vaults.
The investigation made it possible to acquire a rich knowledge of the history and compositional-architectural variations of the building which will prove to be very useful for the consecutive phases of the project.