Pier Luigi Cervellati, Recovery of the Oratory of San Filipino Blacks, Bologna, Italy, 1997
Cervellati was born in 1936 in bologna, he is now 82 years old. He is both an italian architect and urbanist, but he also wrote several books discussing about the modern “city”. His main works are restaurations and reparations, such as the oratory of San Filipo Neri, in Bologna. Here is the oratory’s history.
1700 – The Oratory of San Filippo Neri, built by the architect Alfonso Torreggiani (1682-1764) in about 1730, was inaugurated on August 13, 1733 by Cardinal Lambertini.
1800 – After various vicissitudes the Oratory was closed in 1866, with the Napoleonic suppression of religious orders in Italy, and the transformation of the same into military barracks.
1900 – In 1905 the Oratory was redeemed from the occupation of the military and the first mass was celebrated.
1944 – After forty years of prolific activity, the Oratory was semi-destroyed during the bombing of Bologna.
1948 – The Oratory, which had always been owned by the Curia, was donated to the Filipino Fathers.
First intervention of consolidation and reconstruction of the superintendent Alfredo Barbacci remained inconclusive in 1953 – for more than twenty years the Oratory became a rented place for the storage of building materials.
1977 – During this year the Monte Foundation acquires the Oratory and starts the restoration works.
The intervention is entrusted to the architect Pier Luigi Cervellati, who receives the task of planning the recovery of the place with the aim of returning it to the city as a center of cultural activities. The restoration, which lasted 18 months, has chosen to ‘historicise’ the war wound: it binds to the original remains and tried to faithfully restore what remained of a masterpiece of Baroque Bolognese architecture through the continuation of the work begun by Barbacci, next to the reconstruction of the vaults and of the dome by means of a wooden armor.
1999 – On 20th December 1999 the Oratory of San Filippo Neri was reopened to the public.