The redevelopment of Palazzo Donnaregina by Álvaro Siza grew out of a careful stripping away of all the accretions which had been added over the years. It was guided by respect for the original interiors and materials and a close attention to details. He brought to light the elegant formal composition of the 19th century palazzo which had once housed a pawn shop (today it contains the Restaurant), in a style characteristic of the Neapolitan tradition of the second half of the 19th century, and what remains of the 17th century Palazzo Capano and a stretch of the city walls dating from the 4th-5th centuries B.C., visible through a window set in the floor below the ticket office.
On the first floor, in the section overlooking the Cortile Banco dei Pegni, a steel catwalk marks the transition from the exhibition rooms to the Cafeteria and Restaurant, also designed and furnished by Siza.
Within the museum complex, the layout of the spaces is simple and rigorously functional: the three sides of the building that overlook Via Loffredi, Cortile Banco dei Pegni and vico Donnaregina on one side and the inner courtyard on the other, contain the exhibition rooms, while the block facing Via Settembrini contains the services: Ticket Office, Bookshop (ground floor), Library (first floor) and Administration (third floor).
"Un Progetto Felice" with Álvaro Siza.
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