Fenoglio-Lafleur house, Turin.
|Town or city||Turin|
|Design and construction|
It is situated in the San Donato borough, a central area with significant Stile Liberty buildings and New Gothic architecture in Turin. The building was designed in 1902 by building engineer Pietro Fenoglio who made it his private residence. Casa Fenoglio-Lafleur.
Fenoglio designed the building as his home, according to the French Art Nouveau style. It was a "home-studio" which favoured freedom of expression for creative talent. The building was designed to be an aesthetic model of the new style, during the age of Stile Liberty in Turin.
After it was built in the 1900s, Pietro Fenoglio and his family left the house. They sold it to a French businessman named Lafleur, who lived there until his death. After Lafleur, the heirs left the whole house to La Benefica, an important orphanage and charity association in Turin. It was saved from bombing in the second world war. The building suffered years of decline but in the 1990s was sold to private clients who restored it carefully, giving back the original splendour. At the moment the building is partially appointed to private residence and offices.
The building is located on the edge of the old town and is spread over three floors above ground, plus the attic floor. A privileged location is characterized by angular momentum along the axis of corso Francia at via Principi d'Acaja where will find the main entrance and driveway access to the inner garden.
Although the structure is characterised by a rather traditional setting typical of a bourgeois, the building is an excellent and balanced example of combined use of materials. The decoration is very rich, abundant and references art nouveau with frequently phytomorphic shapes. The latter constitutes the elements between the two wings of the building and is embellished with a pronounced bow-window with polychrome glazing which exhibits a mixture of wrought iron.
The winding trend is nicely presented in an elegant glass newsstand line above the balcony, which seems to reference the Parisian sinuosity of Hector Guimard's architecture. The latter was restored under the careful restoration carried out in the 1990s, which has brought the entire building to the original splendour. The work of Fenoglio, here more than ever, seems refreshingly unaffected by the school of French and Belgian Art Nouveau, not only for the careful stylistic coherence but also the ambition to give the building an international connotation. This prompted Pietro Fenoglio to devote himself personally to designing every detail: from the drawing of the frame chassis, sought relief in shaped-cement, without neglecting the splendid inner door that gives access to the main entrance, the wooden frames of doors, rather than the singular design of cast iron radiators.
- From: Il Liberty in Italia, Rossana Bossaglia, pp. 176-180.
- From:Le opere di Pietro Fenoglio nel clima dell’Art Nouveau internazionale, Riccardo Nelva, Bruno Signorelli, pp. 19-26
- Author of the famous canopies of the Paris Métro.
- Mezzo secolo di architettura 1865-1915. Dalle suggestioni post-risorgimentali ai fermenti del nuovo secolo, Mila Leva Pistoi, Turin, 1969
- Le opere di Pietro Fenoglio nel clima dell’Art Nouveau internazionale, Riccardo Nelva, Bruno Signorelli, editor Dedalo, Bari, 1979
- Il Liberty in Italia, Rossana Bossaglia, Charta, 1997, ISBN 8881581469