With its facade faded to a patina and large patches of stucco missing to expose raw brick and concrete underneath, the reborn Scuderie Aldobrandini in Frascati, Italy, makes a varied statement about history and architecture. Transformed by Massimiliano Fuksas into a museum, gallery, and conference center, the Scuderie was once the horse stable of the Villa Aldobrandini, a masterwork of the late Renaissance by Giacomo della Porta. The stable has traveled on a sine curve of ruination and reinvention: The Germans used it as a regional headquarters during World War II; wine makers made it a fermenting house in the 1950s; and when Fuksas arrived in 1999, the structure was being used as a makeshift parking garage.

The client wanted space for exhibitions, lectures, and conferences, as well as for displaying its collection of archaeological artifacts. At any given time, the building might play host to a lecture on astrophysics, an exhibition on Bernardo Bertolucci, and a display of pottery shards from the 2nd century B.C. The architect was faced with a building shell requiring extensive reinforcing, as well as the challenge of integrating these diverse programs into a single structure.

Fuksas gutted the interior to expose the building’s raw structure—brick, stone, and plaster walls that date to the 1600s. The plaster was stabilized and a new steel truss apparatus added to tie the walls together and support a restored wooden roof. The architect then created two voids in the interior by inserting a three-story structure in the middle for service spaces. Each void was divided into two floors, for a total of four rooms—three for exhibitions, one for conferences. Museum director Giovanna Cappelli sits in a glass-and-steel office at the top of the central service space and enjoys views down through the glittering interior.

Splitting both first-floor exhibition rooms is a glass-enclosed trough that acts as a spine and contains individually mounted artifacts from Tuscolo, an ancient settlement nearby. Beneath the stands, artifacts are displayed in a glass-capped trench dug into the building’s floor. Unfortunately, the trench is not climate-controlled, resulting in an unintended (yet nonetheless interesting) murky subterranean cavern.

Adding a second story both increases the floor space and creates a dialogue between old and new. The new floor of glass and steel rests on a raw, rusting armature of structural steel. It seems to float aloft, separated from the old walls by a gap of several feet, which symbolizes an important design concept. Details like the Pompeii-red painted walls provide a skein of continuity for the disparate programs within the building


Municipaly of Frascati

Massimiliano Fuksas architect
Piazza del Monte di Pietà, 30
00186 Rome (Italy)
Tel: +39 06 68807871
Fax: +39 06 68807872
E-mail: office@fuksas.it

Doriana Mandrelli, Lorenzo Accapezzato

Interior designer:
Doriana Mandrelli (Masssimiliano Fuksas architect)

Andrea Imbrenda
Via delle Quattro Fontane - Rome (Italy)
Tel/Fax: +39 06 4743071

Paolo Bruschi
Via Barrili, 50 – 00152 Rome (Italy)
Tel/Fax: +39 06 5817215

Lorenzo Accapezzato (Massimiliano Fuksas Architect)

Paolo Bruschi

General Contractor
Consorzio Ravennate delle Cooperative di Produzione Lavoro
Via Teodorico, 15 - 48100 Ravenna (Italy) www.consrav.net

Giovanna Piemonti
Piazza dell'Emporio, 16
00153 Rome (Italy)
Tel: +30 06 57300419



Structural system
Reinforced concrete and steel

Exterior cladding
Restoration and consolidation of the original facade with plaster realized with the original ('600) techniques

Glass curtainwall:
Saint Gobain www.saint-gobain.com

Consorzio Ravennate delle Cooperative di Produzione Lavoro

Roof truss in steel and timber purlins
Roof covering: roof tile

original windows are in wood

new windows are in steel

Main door is the original one in wood

Interior Finishes
Paints and stains:
Exposition area with original structure in stone. All the other areas (as service areas and smaller rooms) with plaster

Pompeianus red and deep blue

Floor and wall tile:
Doussier Industrial parquet (Asia)
Opio Color for the mosaic tiles in the bathrooms

Office furniture:
Chitarpi www.chitarpi.com

Reception furniture:

Fixed seating:


Designed by Fuksas Design

Interior ambient lighting:
– Ilti www.iltiluce.it
– Castaldi www.castaldilighting.com
– Targetti www.targetti.com


Water reservoir for fire services