venerdì 26 marzo 2010
Train station in Florence : Santa Maria Novella
In the second half of the nineteenth century, railway stations were the most eloquent witnesses of the fruitful collaboration between the sciences, technology and art. Although the buildings were often beautifully and carefully designed (some even resembled basilicas), they were nonetheless difficult to integrate into the urban fabric. The station Maria Antonia, for instance, was erected withing the city walls, behind the church of Santa Maria Novella, thus opening a "new door" to the city. It was founded on 3 February 1848, and consisted of a number of separate buildings. The facade of the central building had four large round arches, which allowed one to see from the outside in, and vice versa, as if the architect had wished to emphasise the interpenetration of city and station. It had four tracks, and served as the point of departure of the Florence-Prato-Pistoia railway. The other Florentine Station, the "Stazione Leopolda", was also build in 1848. After the unification of Italy, the Station of Maria Antonia was rebaptised the Station of Santa Maria Novella. A new station was built during the 30s. “Maria Antonia” station was demolished to make way for the present station facing the church of Santa Maria Novella: a masterpiece of rationalist architecture, one of the finest expressions of the modern movement in Italian architecture.
Firenze Santa Maria Novella has amongst the most architecturally significant recent buildings of any Italian railway station.in 1932 a national competition was launched for the design of the new Travellers Building. It was won by the Tuscan Group of architects headed by Giovanni Michelucci and including Baroni, Berardi, Gamberini, Guarnieri and Lusanna. The station was opened in 1935: its chief features are the spacious entrance hall with its glass and steel roof structure and the main gallery, whose functional layout heralds the one later built in Roma. Its outer facings and finishings reflect the materials and colours of the city around it, while its interior is adorned with important artworks including sculptures by Italo Griselli and paintings by Ottone Rosai and Mario Romoli.
The plan of the building, as seen from above, was based on the fascio littorio, the symbol of Mussolini's fascist movement. The building is one of the key works of Italian modernism, but has little to do with the Italian Rationalism movement, being more strongly influenced by the Viennese architecture of Loos and Hoffman, with perhaps a nod to Wright; but it is the building's complete originality that makes it outstanding.While it is of a 'modern' design, the use of pietra forte for the station's stone frontage was intended to respond to and contrast with the nearby
Gothic architecture. It is a style of architecture which flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture of the church of Santa Maria Novella.
The train station is used by 59,000,000 people every year and is one of the most important in Italy.
It is at the northern end of the Florence–Rome direttissima, which was completed on 26 May 1992 and the southern end of the Bologna–Florence Direttissima, opened on 22 April 1934. A new high speed line to Bologna opened on 13 December 2009. The station is also used by regional trains on lines connecting to Pisa, Livorno, Lucca, Viareggio, Bologna and Faenza.
Hotel Mario's is just some metres far away from this beautiful train station and to get here is an easy walk from the station. You cannot imagine how close is. We are in a wonderful position, because off from the noisy of the around of every train station of the world.