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Palazzo Image Stefan Kaiser Fall 2011

| Architectural Film Archive | Florence, Italy

Site: Arno River The city of Florence has a complicated relationship with its river. The Arno does not drain into the sea and so is unable to foster international trade like the rivers of other major cities in Europe. The floods that destroyed the city also exacerbated the situated. Today, due to significant damming, the river is considered docile and one of my design intentions is to reintroduce the city to its waterfront.

a. Opening Ground Floor: Related programs are grouped together on the

same floors and lifted to provide open passage on the ground floor from the city to the water

Red - Public exhibition and Offices Blue - Archive and Film Screening Yellow - Cafe and Terrace

b. Extrusion and Orientation: The programmatic blocks are oriented towards

the Ponte Vecchio, the Piazza Michelangelo, and the Duomo. The specific views remind the visitor of their location and the Renaissance projects provide significant contrast with the film technology.

c. Structure: Steel columns and poured in place concrete

Diagram: Formal Strategies

slabs make up the primary structure. The waffle cieling finish not only provides support but alludes to the coffers in Palazzo interiors throughout the city of Florence.

Elevation and Context: The enclosure system is colored aluminum panels and glass hung from a secondary structural system. The panels allude to the rustication of masonry in the Rensaissance palazzos. The windows are placed to highlight views and set up lighting systems conducive to program type (for instance fewer windows adjacent to the film screening rooms and more in the exhibition spaces). The archive is intended to be recognized next to the Uffizi Gallery on the waterfront facade.

East - West Section

North - South Section

Floor 1

Introversion and Extroversion: The vertical circulation in the archive is articulated by dark, inquisitive spaces and extroverted spaces that return the visitor to the context of the city. On the ground floor, its possible to make your way to the waterfront by descending the exterior auditorium seating without entering the archive.

Floor 2

Floor 3

Plans: The plans have a simple distorted grid. The grid is adapted from the space of the site and facades of neighboring buildings.

Floor 4

Floor 5

Film Archive

Screening Room

Entrance Piazza

Perspectives and Model: These perspectives show the main public spaces in the building. The model is constructed of cardboard, chipboard, metal mesh, fabric, and wood.

Plan 0

Scale 1:400

Palazzo Image


A house for the display, storage, and, discussion of contemporary architecture films Contention The Florentine palazzo typology emerges at a dynamic point in history. There is an ideological shift affecting social, cultural, and political convention in Italy accompanied by a renewed importance for art and architecture. Patrons such as the Medici and the Strozzi used the architecture they commissioned to represent their agenda in the city of Florence. The public cortile of the Uffizi educates citizens as they pass by and the ground floor of the Strozzi’s palazzo provides a free and open area for commerce and exchange. These models show the civic meaning of Renaissance patronage. We recognized these things as analogous to many of the intentions of Image and the position their archive will hold in the city. Like the significant historical families of Florence, our palazzo will represent the social and cultural aspirations of Image and engage the community. In the Renaissance palazzo, layers of program are stacked based on their proximity to the public, ground floor: working, piano nobile, and residence. Load bearing, masonry walls lend themselves to this organization of the building. Due to advances in construction technology we are able to free ourselves from this prescribed arrangement. Our palazzo begins to deform and overlap layers of program and create hybrid and flexible spaces. The user groups are invited to interact for an exchange of ideas.




Interior Auditorium

Plan 2

Scale 1:400

Plan 4

Scale 1:400



Palazzo Image  

Syracuse Architecture in Florence, Italy Studio Project: Film Archive for Image Fall 2011

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