“The building located at number six, Via dei Chiavari, is part of the complex adjoining the church of the monastery of Sant’Andrea della Valle, and mentioned from the 16th century onwards in sources held by the Capitoline Historical Archives and the State Archives of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza.
It is a 16th-century edifice, commonly attributed in art-historical literature to Baldassarre Peruzzi, who at the time was engaged in constructing Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne and other buildings in the district”.
1993/94 – The idea of giving a new identity to the spaces in Via dei Chiavari was born around 20 years ago, when Ovidio Jacorossi had the courageous and visionary idea of turning the property he owned into an art gallery in the heart of the historical building that had already been home to Cassiano Dal Pozzo’s collections, in the centre of Rome.
From various sources we learn that in 1627 Cassiano Dal Pozzo, an expert antiquarian, physician, naturalist and diplomat, set up house in this building, also transforming it into the refined showcase for his valuable collections, until he died in 1657.
To this period date the architectural embellishments and the small spaces created to harmoniously display the archaeological finds, most of which probably came to light when the building was under construction.
2012/13 to the present In redesigning and restoring this site as an art gallery I sought to apply a principle that has always underpinned the various exhibitions and projects I have been lucky enough to design over the years. In other words, the idea that the designer must keep things as simple as possible, using architectural language to enhance content rather than overwhelm it by placing too much emphasis on the “sign”.
Also in this case, the greatest challenge was to realize the potential of the spaces without distorting them, to turn apparent obstacles and actual problems into strong and original elements. For example, the almost labyrinthine fragmentation of the interiors that both necessitated and suggested changes, some of which were major. I am thinking in particular of the small but stunning square courtyard, attributed to Baldassarre Peruzzi, which was half-occupied by a one-storey superfetation. The desire to reuse the courtyard led me to devise a walkway in glass and metal, a structure that allowed us to expose part of the original porticos by reutilizing at least two of the four large arches, which also enabled a completely different interpretation of the actual space.
Special attention was given to the restoration of the stone and paint work of the courtyard and the two porticos connected by the new walkway, whose uncovered vaults had, in fact, been decorated with a scheme made up of blue and ochre bands and stencilled floral motifs, probably executed between the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.