Carlo di Castellamonte

Carlo was born in Castellamonte as son to Cesare Count of Castellamonte, of Cognengo Family in the Canavese, in 1571 and died in Turin in 1641. Aristocrat from Piedmont, involved in the works of the capital CityTurin, he actively worked in the field of Architecture and cooperated with Ascanio Vitozzi, (1539-1615), military engineer at the service of the Duke of Savoy. Through his first works near Vitozzi, he was able to gain some solid experience necessary to deal with projects and big factories, as well as with designs for villas, palaces, churches and chapels.

As a military engineer, holding the office of Luogotenente Generale di Artiglieria (Artillery Lieutenant), he was in charge of building fortifications on the territory of the Savoy Family, from the Savoy to Piedmont to the countship of Nice, working on new constructions or evaluations of the existing buildings. According to the existing archives, Carlo worked in the following cities: Asti, Acqui, Verrua, Avigliana, Demonte, Vercelli, Trino, Santhià, a long list, where also Nizza and Montmelian appear.

As an architect, he managed the works of the Church of Santa Maria al Monte dei Cappuccini in Turin, where he was in charge of the works of the Savoy residences in Mirafiori (no more existing), Rivoli, Moncalieri and of the Valentino Castle, in charge of its first transformation in maison de plaisance.

In the capital city, firstly he worked together with Vitozzi in the city center and then he designed the expansion of the so-called “Città Nuova”, towards south, in which worked his son Amedeo too. In the middle of the Città Nuova, Amedeo built the famous Royal Place called piazza San Carlo.

Amedeo di Castellamonte

Amedeo di Castellamonte, son to Carlo di Castellamonte, was born in Turin in 1613 and died at the age of seventy years, in 1683. After beginning his legal studies and obtaining his degree in Law, he studied in Rome and Turin, by approaching immediately the architecture field. Here, near his father, he dealt with the most important Savoy works, becoming, afterwards, the favorite architect of Carlo Emanuele II. Amedeo held several prestigious offices, appointed as Ducal Engineer in 1639, as Architetto di Sua Altezza (Royal Architect) in 1646, Sovrintendente Generale delle Fabbriche e Fortificazioni (Office in the public authority in charge of factories and fortifications) and Consigliere di Stato in 1659 (State Counselor), Luogotenente Generale di Artiglieria (Lieutenant of Artillery) in 1667 and Primo Ingegnere di sua Altezza Reale in 1678 (Royal First Engineer).

As an engineer, he designed the so-called “Città Nuova di Po”, new east city towards the river Po and the hills. Afterwards, he also worked on some military construction sites, as well as religious and civil architectures. Among these projects, he designed the well-known Reggia di Diana (the Diana Realm), the royal hunting lodge built in Venaria Reale, as part of a single project including the village, the palace and the gardens. Some works were implemented in cooperation with his father Carlo. For example, Amedeo completed the pavillon-système in the Valentino Castle, by building the two towers towards the city, linked with the old ones by terraces and each other by a semicycle terraced colonnade.

Domenico Ferri

Domenico Ferri was born in Serra Malvezzi, in the province of Bologna, son to Giovanni and Giovanna Gulini in 1795. Among the students of Francesco Cocchi and Antonio Basoli in the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts) in Bologna, he began his career in the Bologna City Theatre, to become «peintre décorateur» (interior decorator) for the Theâtre Royal Italien (Italian Royal Theatre) in Paris, from 1828 to 1851. In the middle of the century, following the wish of Vittorio Emanuele II, he was required to hold the office as a teacher in the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti (Albertine Academy of Fine arts) and as a decorator in the Reali Palazzi (Royal Palaces), after Pelagio Palagi in Turin.

After dealing with restoration and the decoration of the Moncalieri Castle and of Madama Felicita’s apartment in the Royal Palace in Turin, he managed other works in some parts of the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi. In 1857 he conceived the expansion of the Valentino Castle, designed upon Cavour’ s request as main seat of the Sesta Esposizione nazionale dei prodotti di industria (Sixth National Exposition of Industrial Products) and during the period of the Italian Unification, he dealt with the new room for the Italian Parliament in Palazzo Carignano.

In the Sixties, he was in charge of the refurbishment of the big staircase in Palazzo Reale in Turin, and in Tuscany, where he worked in the villas of Poggio in Caiano, in Petraia and in San Rossore, Savoy residence and holiday home from the second half of the XVII century. He died on June 7 1878 in Turin.

Following the transformations implemented on the occasion of the Sixth Exhibition, the names of the engineers and of the architects, especially related to the Turin Polytechnic School, in charge of projects for the Valentino Castle, are several. In particular, their names are associated to the capacity of providing solutions to face Politecnico di Torino’s specific needs within the research and educational fields.