Corte Casalbergo

Location: Isola della Scala, Provincia di Verona
Designer: Arch. Fiorenzo Meneghelli
Project: Corte Casalbergo
Architect: Arch. Fiorenzo Meneghelli
Designer collaborators: Arch. Renato Peroli, Arch. Serena Sorio
Metal work, window and doorframes: Mario Spezia
Steel window and doorframe profiles: Palladio Spa, San Biagio di Callata, Treviso, Studio d'Ingegneria Novarini Rampo
Location: Isola della Scala, Provincia di Verona
Client: Farm company
Time of construction: 2004-2006 Oratory, 2008-2012 Main building
Photos: Andrea Meneghelli
Corte Casalbergo is situated in the central plain, in an area rich in water, where the Republic of Venice introduced rice cultivation back in the XVI century.

The construction of Corte Casalbergo began at the end of the XV century, and between the end of the 1800s and early 1900s it reached its maximum extension with more than 500 people between residents and workers. However, in the 1950s the Corte was abandoned.

The restoration project had certain aims: re-establish the farming activities within a unitary and organized relationship with the historic site; sustainable intervention; the potential promotion of the agricultural culture and landscape.

Restoration work began in 2004, initially of Saint Anthony’s Oratory (XVII century) which has very deep roots in the people’s memory.

Restoration to the Corte began in 2008, first with the main house, addressed to recovering the buildings for uses that both maintain the ties between the rural and the cultural spheres, associated with new residential styles.

The project prefers sustainable solutions, in terms of energy saving and environmental quality, adopting, among others, fine water purification, recovering the rainwater, domotic plant management, the use of geothermal energy and integrated solar panels, etc.

The main house (XV-XX centuries) was renovated and converted into an agritourism, a presentation area for the rice production, a meeting and convention hall. The nearby rustic building, which is used to sell the “Vialone nano – IGP” rice, contains the historic farming equipment.

Work then began to renovate the two buildings for residential use.

The stables, drying rooms, tobacco working buildings, have not been included in the recovery project as yet, but some of them will be used to form a museum.

The restoration of Corte Casalbergo is an excellent example of how abandoned historic, cultural and rural architecture can be restored in a way to fully safeguard the rural landscape.

Steel was widely used to close the large arches on the south side: the use of narrow steel profiles for the frames does not affect the appearance of this ancient building, just the opposite. Instead of following the openings of the arches, a steel portal structure has been made which is independent from the walls, and contains the window and doorframes.

By Fiorenzo Meneghelli

Acciaio Arte Architettura 54