Fiat Tagliero Building

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Fiat Tagliero Building

The Fiat Tagliero Building in Asmara, capital city of Eritrea, is a Futurist Style service station completed in 1938 and designed by the Italian architect Giuseppe Pettazzi.[1]

From the beginning conceived as a simple petrol station, Pettazzi designed a building that resembles an aeroplane.[2] The building consists of a central tower which incorporates the office space and cashiers desk and shop. The tower supports a pair of 15m cantilevered wings, which are built in reinforced concrete and are structurally unsupported. Although this was Petazzi's original design, local authorities at the time insisted that each wing should be supported by pillars. This was believed to be a local myth, until proved when the original plans were found in 2001.[1] Another urban legend states that Pettazzi settled the argument by holding a revolver to the main builder's head, threatened to kill him if they did not remove the supports.[1] In the end the supports were removed and the wings held, just as they do today.[1]

The building is still structurally sound after 75 years. It has not been damaged during the numerous conflicts that affected the Horn of Africa during the twentieth century, and so it stands today. The building was restored in 2003, and is Category I listed in Eritrea. This means that no part of the building may be adjusted in any way.

The building is currently owned by the Royal Dutch Shell oil company.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Denison, Edward (2007). Bradt Travel Guide: Eritrea. Bradt. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-84162-171-5. 
  2. ^ Denison, Edward (2007). Bradt Travel Guide: Eritrea. Bradt. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-84162-171-5. 
  3. ^ "A BBC Radio 4 Programme about Asmara and its architecture, including the Fiat Tagliero Building". Retrieved 18 July 2006. [dead link]

Coordinates: 15°19′42″N 38°55′33″E / 15.32833°N 38.92583°E / 15.32833; 38.92583