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Santa Marta: from military bakery to university campus

2,5 km of bookcase available for students, 3,5 km of archives, 200.000 volumes, 320 seats for users, 32 workstations for the consultation of multimedia resources: these are the numbers of the new SMEC Library (Santa Marta Economy) that has been located in the Provianda Santa Marta, a military bakery that is part of the historical complex of the Passalacqua quarter.
The bakery, built between 1863 and 1865 to guarantee the supplies to the Austrian soldiers, covers an area of 25.000 square meters, divided in five floors.
The library, located in a wide attic, contains the book collections from seven different academic libraries. The new loan systems and the “open library” service enrich the cultural offer for students and citizens.
Santa Marta houses not only the library, but six labs, classrooms, meeting rooms and offices, enriching the campus of new spaces.
The restoration of the building was made by ISP – IUAV Studi & Progetti, a department of the Venetian University, guided by Massimo Carmassi, professor at IUAV.
The renovation was awarded in 2015 with the Medaglia d’Oro all’Architettura Italiana della Triennale of Milan price.
The idea behind the requalification project was to accurately respect the historical identity of the site through the use of specific materials, like glass and steel, which have the lowest impact on the building structure.
The original function of the bakery was bring back to life through the restoration of some elements, such as plasters, rests of the ovens and of the flues.
With an investment of 37 millions of euros, the Università di Verona and Verona as well, can enjoy again of the Provianda Santa Marta: from a place where feed the body to a place where nourish the mind.
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