In order to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, the project “Sites of Memory”, promoted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, aims at rehabilitating historically significant sites across the peninsula; among them the restoration of the Arbuticci Fort in Caprera. On the island of Garibaldi, the plan is to build in an existing building and develop a dialogue between a contemporary approach and the context’s architectural tradition. The Garibaldi Memorial is conceived to lead the visitor in a trip through the places and events of the general’s life. Exhibition panels, customdesigned showcases and multi-media installations present the tales of an extraordinary life.
The restoration design respects the memory of this place and uses a delicate and light touch: four small barracks become the wings of the exhibition area, flanked by smaller buildings for the reception, bookshop and public service facilities. The buildings are preserved in their original characters, with contemporary details carefully added to make the entire complex more elegant. The new metal doors and windows show the face of the general screen-printed on glass and help visitors follow the exhibition’s main theme.
In the outside areas, the aim is to enhance the site’s unique environmental beauty. The fort’s exterior facings were consolidated and fitted with metal railings and bollards in order to create a network of scenic paths looking out to the sea, and farther away to the seven historical flags dedicated to Garibaldi. At the Fort’s entrance, the cor-ten steel letters spelling out the words “Giuseppe Garibaldi l’eroe dei due mondi” become the entrance gate’s support. Further on a monument made of cor-ten steel blades with the sign “Memoriale Giuseppe Garibaldi” welcomes visitors.
Piazza Italia is a sculptural public area where the peninsula’s stylized shape forms the flooring and faces the raised seating. The square is a symbolic homage to Italy, Garibaldi and the 150 years since the Unification, it is also a work that celebrates the future, “a sign in order not to forget”.