Balivi Complex, Aosta

Balivi Complex, Aosta, Italy
Client: Arch. Roberto Rosset
Architect: Arch. Roberto Rosset
Lighting Designer: Arch. Massimo Iarussi
Photographs by: Filippo Simonetti

The Balivi complex represents one of the most important medieval architecture projects in Aosta.
Located at the north-eastern corner of the town walls, the “Torre dei Balivi” (Balivi Tower) was built in the Middle Ages, on the pre-existing Roman tower. Originally the seat of the Bailiff, a sort of prefect, the complex then housed a penitentiary, which remained active until 1984. In the early 2000s, a massive restoration project and adaptation by the architect Rosset transformed it into the headquarters of the Music Conservatory of the Aosta Valley. The project created an underground space that houses the classrooms below the central courtyard; for access from the outside, a glass cubic body was created, which houses the vertical connections. For the lighting, a surface treatment was adopted on the glass, capable of diffusing the light which hits it, while maintaining its transparency. The element thus becomes a sort of large lantern, which illuminates the entire courtyard.