17th-century italian library will host a winding, transparent 'shrine' by mario cucinella

17th-century italian library will host a winding, transparent 'shrine' by mario cucinella

breathing new life into Federiciana Library in fano, italy


The Municipality of Fano and the Fondazione Montanari in Italy have joined forces to breathe new life into the Federiciana Library. MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects has been granted permission to lead on the design, renovations, and extension of the city’s historic library, located adjacent to the Baroque Church of San Pietro in Valle. The intervention reorganizes its pre-existing functions, especially the building’s offices and volumes collected there since the second half of the 1600s. The project also preserves the famous Sala dei Globi with its wooden shelves and interior furnishings. Beyond the recovery process, MCA envisions a new extension created from the demolition of the pre-existing modern building. In continuity with the contemporary urban design, this addition marks the step between the historic and modern Fano by opening onto the port and waterfront. 

mario cucinella library
all renderings by MCA and Hido Visual



mario cucinella weaves fluid gestures into library extension


Like a transparent shrine, the new area of the Federiciana Library welcomes and spans four levels, plus a basement for the vault of the volumes to be preserved and a panoramic terrace that opens onto large visual wings. The public entrance leads to the ground floor, hosting a conference room and several reception and service areas. The team at Mario Cucinella Architects  organizes the internal architecture as winding through internal terraces, ‘suspended’ and slightly staggered, from the first level, which also hosts an event space up to the fourth level, to finally culminate on the roof with a panoramic terrace overlooking the sea. A fluid and continuous architectural gesture draws the organic forms of the terraces that welcome spaces dedicated to reading, stretched outwards, relating the internal architecture with the urban landscape up to the blue horizon of the sea.

mario cucinella library
interiors of Federiciana Library extension by Mario Cucinella Architects



green continuity and climate control


The landscape design, meanwhile, takes shape as a common thread between the various levels and the terraces at the Federiciana Library. MCA designs it as a public space in continuity with the external green area that existed before the new extension and sees its beginning in the winter garden on the ground floor. Last but not least, a careful climate study will accompany the restoration project. The northwest facing of the new volume is strategically optimized to shield from direct sunlight, ensuring ample daylight in reading areas. This design improves visual comfort, reduces reliance on artificial lighting, and facilitates efficient natural ventilation by harnessing northward breezes in summer, spring, and fall.

mario cucinella library
a transparent shrine that welcomes and spans four levels,

17th-century italian library will host a winding, transparent 'shrine' by mario cucinella
night time bird’s eye view of the renovated library by Mario Cucinella Architects



project info:


name: Federiciana Library restoration

location: Fano (Pesaro e Urbino), Italy​​

architecture: MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects | @mario_cucinella_architects

MCA team: Mario Cucinella, Giulio Desiderio (project director), Michele Olivieri (design leader)

Alessio Naldoni (project leader – final execution), Francesco Visco (project leader – preliminary), 

Angelo Ungarelli (senior architect), Kseniya Shkroban (senior architect), Edoardo Bernardi (architect),

Luca Marcotullio (BIM coordinator), Alessandro Gazzoni (project leader, technical expert), Elisabetta Pettazzoni (architect), Giuseppe Panzarini (architect), Yuri Costantini (modeling unit manager), Eugenio De Nicola (modeling specialist), Antonino Cucinella (modeling specialist), Lorenzo Mancini (visual artist specialist), Walter Vecchio (senior visual artist specialist)

client: Municipality of Fano and Fondazione Montanari

structural engineering: Maffeis Engeneering

Mep engineering: Technion s.r.l.

renderings: MCA Visual, Hido Visual

year: 2021 – ongoing

area: 3000 sqm

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