El Museo del Tesoro della Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

Second year • 2010 • Saint-Etienne School of Architecture

Teamwork : Pierre Bouilhol / Violette Prost



Study of the Museo del Tesoro di San Lorenzo by the architect Franco Albini in 1954. Deconstructing an architectural work on the concept "from underground to emerging", based on the acts Establish, Organize, Build.

How to settle in a dense and historic network ?

How to organize a narrow space?

How to build in a cut off space ?

How to enhance the architectural intentions ?

Burry & Connect

The Treasure of San Lorenzo Cathedral in Genoa is one of the most remarkable in Italy. The museum was to be in direct contact with the Cathedral so that the exhibits could be used for religious services. Architect Franco Albini built the museum in the only available space in this area of a dense city : under the courtyard of the Archdiocese.


Guide & Surprise

In his work, the architect knew how to compose with geometric shapes, combining lines and curves. Space and materiality are being used for the scenography, creating a surprising underground journey.


Interlock & Get around

The construction process works like Russian Dolls. This game of "box inside the box" allows the museum structure to be completely independent from the neighboring foundations.


Architectural sculpture

Simple on the mere appearance but concealing a complex design, Franco Albini's work hold many symbolic values : the circles, the number three, orientation, reference to Tholos of Ancient Greece. His work has been thought to every last detail, such as an artist carving a sculpture.


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