Built within a monastery complex covering 33,000 m² on Monte Capulo, Monreale Cathedral dominates the gulf of Palermo.
The aim in restoring the dormitory was to restore architectural homogeneity to the building: the objective was not to adapt the historic building to current requirements but to reconfirm its original character.
Sensitivity and comfort
The project involved rebuilding the internal structure and restoration of the walls, intermediate floor and roof. The project was implemented with great sensitivity, reconciling the requirements of public comfort with respect for the historical structure of the building and its architectural identity.
A wall with a somewhat complex assembly of bricks has been erected in the centre of the space. The walls have been extended to the top storey with a traditional but unusual material for weight-bearing interior walls: wood.
To enclose the volume thus reconstituted, the designers decided to create a glazed wall that defines the interior space of the dormitory, with open exterior space deliberately left in the form of a ruin with the vegetation untouched.
Structure and transparency
Pilkington Planar™ was selected for its transparency and structural qualities, the combination of steel and glass forming a structural architectural system. The supporting structure is of steel: treated mild steel for the main risers, stainless steel for the fastenings and accessories.
The glass envelope is constructed with 10 mm Pilkington Optifloat™ Green thermally toughened glass on the outside and Pilkington Toughened Safety Glass on the inside. The two surfaces are assembled with a special resin using a Pilkington patented process.