Wooden Model of Borromini's Church of 
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome,
Lugano, Switzerland   1999
Dismantled   2003

Wooden Model of Borromini’s Church o f San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome , on the lakeshore Lugano, Switzerland




Rivetta Tell, lakeshore Lugano

Swiss Italian University ,
Academy of architecture, Mendrisio

ing. Aurelio Muttoni, Lugano

Site supervision
arch. Elio Ostinelli

The wooden model has been realized in occasion of the exhibition at the Museo cantonale d'arte in Lugano, to mark the 400 year anniversary of Francesco Borromini, (born in Bissone in 1599).
Standing almost 33 meters high and made up of 35'000 planks each 4.5 cm thick, mounted modularly with a "separation" of 1 cm, the large wooden model of San Carlino is held together with steel cables, in turn fixed to a steel frame weighing 90 tones. This life-size cross-section view of the church sits on a 22-meter-square platform just a few meters from the shore, at the end of the lake promenade and at the entrance to the Parco Ciani. The wooden model of San Carlino thus emerges from the deepest inlet on the lake gulf, surrounded by mountains, to act as a signpost to the exhibition about the young Borromini. With the important contribution of a work-creation scheme, set up thanks to the decisive efforts of the Università della Svizzera italiana, Accademia di architettura, Mendrisio, this major event and this exceptional construction have been created in just a few months. The scheme has involved tens of unemployed people, architects, designers, carpenters and craftsmen in a very unusual project. And the occasion has also proved to be an excellent occasion for training opportunities, starting from the survey of the San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane complex in Rome , carried out by Professor Sartor of Rome and commissioned by the Academy of Architecture . The training opportunities have ranged from graphic designs and final drawings for the wooden model to the preparation of the individual planks and other components, and lastly to the building and assembly on site.