Founded in 2004, the Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’Arte organises public seminars, workshops and conferences about contemporary art and music from its magnificent setting on the Banna Estate in Poirino, twenty kilometres from Turin.
The imposing country residence, set inside a closed courtyard and dominated by a huge tower built on the foundations of a thirteenth century fortress, is considered to be one of the largest and most interesting of its kind in Piedmont. Once the property of the Canonici of Asti, it later became a feud of Roero, Asinari and Virle and the Caraglio before being raised to the status of principality in 1785, together with the towns of Chieri, Poirino and Riva, by Vittorio Amedeo III of Savoia in favour of his son Vittorio Emanuele, Duke of Aosta. Following this, the estate passed through various hands until the first half of the twentieth-century when it became the property of the Spinola family.
The structural layout comprises medieval and late 18th century buildings, some of which are still used for the farm’s agricultural interests. The Banna Estate is situated on the type of unspoilt countryside that is typical in this part of Piedmont between the Alps and the Monferrato, Roero and Langhe regions.
The Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’Arte has converted a part of the farms’ outbuildings – currently unused – into artists’ accommodation. The Fondazione’s purpose-built centre was opened in 2005 and comprises three completely renovated outbuildings. This is made possible by connecting three buildings without altering their overall volume or original architectural character. The restoration work was carried out by the architect Cesare Burdese.
Project choices and reasons
The residential quarters are self-sufficient, comprising three buildings, each with its own communal and private spaces, designed to provide the right conditions for living and working. These are made up of private and communal spaces as well as accommodation for resident artists. The centre can also host disabled people.