University of Pavia - Central Palace

Original name

Central Palace of the University of Pavia

Geographic Area

Pavia, Italy

Reference Project

Material and geometric survey of portions of the complex of the Central University of Pavia

Site description

The Studiorum, today the University of Pavia, was officially founded in 1361 at the behest of Charles V, but its current location in the Central Palace dates back almost a century after that date . Between 1485 and 1490, Ludwig the Moor granted the use of a palace of Azzone Visconti, next to the San Matteo Hospital, at the time under construction, in the heart of the city. The palace developed around two courtyards – now Cortile dei Caduti (Courtyard of the Fallen) and Cortile Volta (Courtyard of Volta) – and was modified, around 1534, with the construction of porches and loggias, to support the existing wooden floors. During the reign of Maria Theresa of Habsburg, the University of Pavia experienced a period of growth and expansion that led, between 1771 and the 1920s, to important changes and enlargements. The variations were the replacement of the wooden floors with systems turned on a cruise, the construction of important spaces, such as Aula Magna (currently the Foscolo Hall) and the expansion to the south, with the construction of Cortile delle Statue (Courtyard of the Statues) and the annexation of the rooms of the former monastery of Leano, which had already been abolished at the time. These two courtyards were separated from the others by the former Strada delle Catene (Chain Road), an element that was incorporated into the complex only in the 1820s. This road still maintains an urban dimension, being a key pedestrian crossing for the northeast quadrant of the old town. The road is now the main crossing route of the University, through the courtyard of the Statues. The road is perceived as an urban street, and has maintained a different role compared to the other courtyards, although today its original function is no longer visually recognizable. The last extension was the integration of the courtyards and the monumental spaces of the ancient Hospital San Matteo. This led the University to its current conformation, dating back to 1951. Following this latest transformation, the Central building has reached its final conformation. To this day it is made up of 11 courtyards that strongly characterize its appearance and its relationship with the city itself. Emblem of the complex is the continuous succession of pedestrian crossings usually used by the community (not only in the university area) that makes the Central Palace a real permeable and constantly active collective space. This conformation, characterized by the juxtaposition of different architectural elements for epoch and language, announces a richness of composition, distribution and multiplicity of uses that results in exalting once again the urban character of the Palace.

Credits

The documentation of the Central Palace of the University of Pavia, fostered by the Technical Department of the University and coordinated by the laboratory DAda LAB and PLAY lab of the University of Pavia.

Coordinator
Marco Morandotti
Sandro Parrinello

Partnership
UNIPV, University of Pavia

Survey Activities

Laser Scanner
Pietro Bechierini
Elisabetta Doria
Francesca Galasso
Chiara Malusardi

UAVs Photogrammetry
Francesca Picchio
Raffaella De Marco

Terrestrial Photogrammetry
Raffaella De Marco
Elisabetta Doria
Francesca Galasso
Silvia La Placa
Chiara Malusardi
Alessia Miceli
Students of the course of Rilievo e Rappresentazione dell'architettura a.y. 2018-2019, Universiy of Pavia.
Professor: Sandro Parrinello

Photo
Raffaella De Marco
Elisabetta Doria
Francesca Galasso
Silvia La Placa
Chiara Malusardi
Francesca Picchio
Students of the course of Rilievo e Rappresentazione dell'architettura a.y. 2018-2019, Universiy of Pavia.
Professor: Sandro Parrinello

Post production Activities

2D Drawings
Raffaella De Marco
Elisabetta Doria
Francesca Galasso
Silvia La Placa
Chiara Malusardi
Alessia Miceli
Francesca Picchio
Students of the course of Rilievo e Rappresentazione dell'architettura a.y. 2018-2019, Universiy of Pavia.
Professor: Sandro Parrinello

H-BIM model
Anna dell'Amico
Hangjun Fu

3D Models
Elisabetta Doria
Francesca Galasso
Chiara Malusardi
Students of the course of Rilievo e Rappresentazione dell'architettura a.y. 2018-2019, Universiy of Pavia.
Professor: Sandro Parrinello

  • Gallery
  • 3D Model - Aula Magna
  • Point Cloud - Aula Magna
  • Point Cloud - Archeological Museum

Documentation Methodology

The documentation project was carried on according to a common purpose of the office of Technical Informative and Safety Area and the laboratories DAdaLab and PLAY of the University of Pavia, intending to define and implement an up-to-date knowing frame of the Palace. The aspects of the survey project have been determined considering the need to represent the object with all its formal, constructive and material characteristics, together with its conservation status and its relationships with the urban settings. At the same time, the project addresses the interoperability of information within an overarching point of view.The phase of data acquisition required careful analysis and planning of the procedures in order to address the difficulties given by the extension and complexity of the Palace.

This required to plan and organize the documentation activities dividing them into sectors to be surveyed. The integrated survey - range-based survey, carried on with laser scanner instruments, and image-based survey, with ground-level and UAV photographs – granted to acquire complete information on all the external surfaces and the monumental spaces, with equal attention dedicated to the roof system.The survey data, heterogeneous for format and acquisition method, required a careful phase of organization and cataloging which has been fundamental for the methodology and the subsequent operation of reading, synthesis and interpretation.The constitution of an archive, which could be easily looked through and enriched over time, required particular attention; one the one hand it was necessary in order to keep the database updated, following the creation of new data deriving from subsequent analyses; on the other hand, to avoid the natural process of fragmentation and dispersion of the information itself.In the following phase, the dimensional data derived from the point cloud allowed to obtain detailed 2D drawings in a variety of architectural scales, while the photogrammetry allowed to create photo-planes of all the facades. These two outputs are the basis on which to operate for the following analysis on the object.

The activities of digital survey and graphic drawings of the fronts of the Central Palace of the University of Pavia aim to structure a data base with data that can be analysed on multidisciplinary fields and with different levels of deepening. The documentation process is the foundational starter for any structured action that aims to manage complex environments. In this context, the documentation is ambivalently understood both as the collection of morphological/geometric information and as a process for managing data and cataloguing it in multi-scale storage systems.


The dimension of the Palace, with almost a kilometre of fronts spreading along the perimeter and with 11 courtyards on several levels and crossed by numerous covered passages, determines a system that, at the level of the managment of the important actions, is connoted to the architectural scale, but without losing the high level of detail needed to return the technological elements and the decorative equipment. From the drawings obtained it has been possibile to make three-dimensional models, aimed to the construction of virtual settings and parametric data management systems. The dual purpose of the models will allow to structure interactive platforms from which produce simulations within space, interactions with the virtual environment but also tools to program management aspects.

Among the activities of implementing these models and the development of the research project, there is the possibility to integrate the collected and transpose data in the form of information sheets and processed vectors with the semantized models and insert them within the GIS platform. An extensive informative system of the whole complex is what would allow the competent bodies to manage the maintenance works in a structured way, planning their succession according to intervention priorities, and updating them in the digital platform. The informative platform, through which you can easily manage the transition of scale from the urban one to the architectural one, can also be integrated with other methodologies of building design, such as BIM or, in the case of architectural heritage, HBIM.

Bibliography

Miceli A., Morandotti M., Parrinello S. (2019). 3D survey and semantic analysis for the documentation of built heritage. The case study of Palazzo Centrale of Pavia University. VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1, p. 65-80, june 2020. ISSN 2444-9091. Vitruvio Journal

Morandotti M. et all. (2019). L'università di Pavia, i cortili e gli ambienti monumentali. Un progetto di documentazione digitale e sviluppo di sistemi di gestione per la manutenzione programmata” In ReUSO Matera 2019: “VII convegno internazionale sulla documentazione, conservazione e recupero del patrimonio architettonico e sulla tutela paesaggistica”. ISBN 978-88-492-3800-6 ResearchGate

Picchio F., Doria E., Miceli A. (2020) “Definition of Databases and Procedures for the Valorization of Central Palace of University of Pavia” in “42° convegno internazionale dei docenti delle discipline della rappresentazione congresso della unione italiana per il disegno” ResearchGate

Parrinello S., Dell’Amico A. (2021) From Survey to Parametric Models: HBIM Systems for Enrichment of Cultural Heritage Management. In: Bolognesi C., Villa D. (eds) From Building Information Modelling to Mixed Reality. Springer Tracts in Civil Engineering. Springer, Cham” SpringerLink