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Steel tower
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Steel Tower

Sara Ronco

A walk through contemporary architecture in Genoa: S. Vincenzo Tower by Melchiorre Bega.


The video "Steel Tower" was conceived and filmed by students of the "Architectural Design" course held by Valter Scelsi at Genoa University. The aim was to focus attention on contemporary architecture and its maintenance: when architectural value is overlooked, even valuable buildings are affected by deterioration.

Steel Tower is a short film about the first skyscraper built in Genoa, Italy. The movie's goal is to reflect about the initial almost uncomfortable perception people might have observing a high-rise within a city of low buildings, and its overturning into a more careful consideration of the tower when the top is reached and a different view of the city is revealed.

The tower, now called San Vincenzo because of the name of the neighborhood, has been designed by Melchiorre Bega, Piero Gambacciani and Attilio Viziano and was built in 1960. It is 105 meters tall and host offices in its 21 floors. The structure is made of steel pillars that are fit together regularly, as shown in the first part of the movie by old scenes taken from the construction process.

Originally named "Torre SIP" from the former SIP national telephone company, the tower is considered out of any context by the people who lived in Genoa. The short film aims to show more virtuous point of view. With an opening scene of a child playfully drawing the building within the city skyline, the movie continues, discovering the building step by step. The camera explores the tower from the bottom to the top, pausing on the upper terraces to show panoramic views of Genoa. The final scene reveals the building as a landmark in the city.

Authors icon Credits

Authors: Elisa Balbi, Chiara Costa, Martina Falzone
Architect: Melchiorre Bega, Piero Gambacciani, Attilio Viziano
Mentioned project: S. Vincezo Tower
Project location: Genoa, Italy

Italy 2016
Duration: 1'50''