GABELLA GATE
Rocco Valentini

Contemporary insertion in the historic center

ROCCO VALENTINI ARCHITECTURE as Architects

The ruined “Porta Gabella” of Ripa Teatina has been revived with the insertion of a clearly distinguishable architectural element from the context, a cor-ten steel structure, enclose by an envelop of vertical strings, throught a contemporary language full of echoes of medieval architectures. 

photo_credit Rocco Valentini
Rocco Valentini

A dreamlike interpretation of the medieval gate, its shape suggests a metaphoric image of two stylized door leaves that open outwards.

The suspended walkways, that connect the various structure, take inspiration from the medieval wood walkway, leaning against the fortification walls that allowed the connection between the difensive towers.

photo_credit Rocco Valentini
Rocco Valentini

The main goal was to sew up the urban fabric with a polyfunctional structure able to connect the ancient enviroments and the pedestrian pathways of the old town but also to create a structure capable to turn in an outdoor stage for musical and artistic performances.  

photo_credit Rocco Valentini
Rocco Valentini

From the ground floor of the tower, through an existing underground tunnel, you enter the rooms of the adjacent building and thanks to a new stairway and walkways in cor-ten steel we realized a link between the rooms of the aragonese tower, the rooms of the garrisons and the alleys of the Old Town. 

photo_credit Rocco Valentini
Rocco Valentini

The defensive walls of Ripa Teatina, equipped with circular watchtowers, added in the XV century, after the Aragonese conquest, encircled the inhabitated area from the south east; the town was accessible through two large gates flanked by another watchtower.

photo_credit Rocco Valentini
Rocco Valentini

The gates were demolished during the Second World War, leaving an urban void and disconnection between the defensive structures and the town centre. Where once the Gabella gate stood, there was just a large stairway. From the studies of the floor plans and from the historical photos It’s been possible reconstruct the original shape of the tower. Originally it looked connected with the adjacent building through a transversal masonry structure that allowed the direct passage between the two bodies and made all the levels of the tower accessible.

photo_credit Rocco Valentini
Rocco Valentini

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