stefano boeri designs set-up for cartoon of raphael room in milan's pinacoteca ambrosiana

stefano boeri designs set-up for cartoon of raphael room in milan's pinacoteca ambrosiana

stefano boeri architetti has designed the new set-up for the cartoon in the raphael room, located in milan’s pinacoteca ambrosiana. used by raphael for the fresco of the school of athens, in the stanza delle segnature of the vatican museums, the preparatory cartoon takes center stage at the new design, which is aimed at maximizing the environmental comfort of the work itself in order to guarantee its conservation over time.stefano boeri designs set-up for cartoon of raphael room in milan's pinacoteca ambrosianaimages by paolo rosselli



open to the public from 27 march 2019, stefano boeri‘s new set up is developed around the ‘ben finito cartone’, protected by a large, double laminated, single-sheet glass case; while the only counter-field to the artwork is the didactic table realized in collaboration with riva 1920, in solid oak wood obtained from a single 150-year-old trunk. ‘all of our set-up choices, starting from the approaching sequences the great cartoon, are designed to prepare the public for the vision of a work that holds – intact – in itself a wonderful conjunction of meanings, being at the time a finished work and yet destined to be the preparation of a final work,’ says stefano boeri. ‘for this reason, we have designed a large solid oak table (made by riva1920) for the same room, aimed to collect texts and in-depth documents on the history of the cartoon, on how it has been made, on its relationship with the fresco in the sala della segnatura in the vatican museums.’




equal in size to the work itself, 8 meters wide and 3 meters high, the large case protecting the cartone was transported inside the room through a slit obtained in the side pinacoteca’s façade. the double laminated glass sheet has been subjected to an anti-reflective and extra-clear treatment to allow the best possible vision, to an anti-ultraviolet treatment to avoid the deterioration of the 210 paper sheets that make the work, and it is designed to maintain humidity parameters constant in order to protect the cartoon in time. ‘the space is essential, with dark colors and opaque materials, in order to protect the work and prevent deterioration,’ adds francesca motta, project leader at stefano boeri architetti. ‘the light has also been reduced to a minimum, guaranteeing values of 25 lux, which are the parameters for the lighting provided for fragile works of art such as raphael’s cartoon.’



‘from previous set-up designs, the one of luigi caccia dominioni in the 1960s and the one of griffini in the 1990s, we have maintained some elements of continuity, such as the position of the cartoon on the western wall and a filter wall before being in front of the artwork, despite having radically changed the ways in which the work is perceived,’ explains marco giorgio, project director at stefano boeri architetti.

stefano boeri designs set-up for cartoon of raphael room in milan's pinacoteca ambrosiana

stefano boeri designs set-up for cartoon of raphael room in milan's pinacoteca ambrosiana 




project info:


architect: stefano boeri architetti

location: milan, italy

client: veneranda biblioteca pinacoteca ambrosiana milano

team: stefano boeri (founding partner), marco giorgio (project director), francesca motta (project leader),
esteban marquez, daniele barillari, elisa versari

didactic table and wooden furniture in collaboration with riva 1920 spa: giorgio donà (project coordinator), martina mitrovic

structural design: studio gerosa

electrical system design: pro-tec milan srl

lighting design: lumen center italia srl

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