VILLA BORROMEO D'ADDA
The park of Villa Borromeo di Arcore is the guardian of the splendid Villa Borremeo; an enviable protected landscape pearl and surrounded by a large extended green area (about 30 hectares) designed by Giuseppe Balzaretti, one of the most famous garden designers of the time, in the mid-nineteenth century.
Nature, in this area, becomes the stage for man's masterful creations. The villa, with its sinuous shapes and lines, the characteristic wrought iron structures with an intricate and refined tangle that recalls the intertwining of the branches of the trees nearby, seems to live in synergy with the greenery that hosts it, in a continuous alternation and compliment of vegetation and concrete, of nature and of man's hand.
The Villa takes its name from the family that founded it: the D'Adda. After the transformations carried out during the nineteenth century by Giovanni D'Adda and Emanuele D'Adda, on the latter's death in 1911 it passed by inheritance to the Borromeo d'Adda, hence the name of "Villa Borromeo" with which it became later more known. It is a complex consisting of two villas, one dating back to the mid-seventeenth century and the other founded by Abbot Ferdinando D'Adda between 1750 and 1760. Following the death in 1979 of Count Carlo Borromeo d'Adda, since 1980 the whole estate became the property of the Municipality of Arcore, which has since used the building at the entrance to the park as the seat of the Municipality.
The restoration work at Villa Borromeo involved all the decorated surfaces present in the rooms located on the first noble floor; in particular stucco elements, wall paintings, stone material and wooden elements. The great deficiencies in the decorations have led to a choice of type of conservation intervention, recreating the support surfaces of the stucco decorations but without going to re-propose the same with casts. In this way it was possible to give continuity to the decorative system of the room, making visible to the eye even inexperienced the serious shortcomings due to years of neglect of the villa. For all areas not particularly damaged, we proceeded always maintaining a conservative and minimal approach, such as to safeguard the integrity and originality of the decorated surfaces .
The main purpose was to rediscover the original surfaces hidden under multiple layers of repainting. The procedures for carrying out the restoration have been identified, divided into the following macro phases:
CLEANING and removal from the surfaces of all layers that compromised the legibility of the original finishes
CONSOLIDATION AND GROUTING of the discontinuities present in the surfaces, also integrating the gaps present.
CHROMATIC BALANCING with pictorial integration to recover the legibility of the decorations.
AREAS OF INTERVENTION
ROOM 1: The most compromised room was the 1st. Large portions of the cornice had been lost due to infiltrations, leaving a very fragmented situation of the decorative apparatus is visible and discontinuous. Luckily losses have not dented the decorative richness of the vault, but mainly concerned the cornice and areas of wall near the walled downspouts. Important components of the room only a sandstone fireplace and stucco with rich decorations, three marble and wood doors, a marble console and a pair of precious Murano glass chandeliers.
ROOM 2: The small room plays the role of hallway of room 1. Small in size and square in shape, it shows on the walls mirrors surrounded by stucco once carpeted. Also in this case the conservative restoration intervention involved the descalbo of the walls to bring back the original colors of the plaster and stucco. Fortunately, there was no water infiltration in this environment.
ROOM 3: This room has the distinction of being completely decorated. It represents a fake architecture that rises towards the sky and shows above it a beautiful sky in the moment of dawn. Probably the decoration was originally done dry with lime-based colors. The most important part of the restoration was the consolidation. Before any other operation, the disintegrated color was made to re-adhere to the plaster support thanks to which it joined also a cleaning action to the consolidating one.
ROOM 4: Room 4 results uniform in two distinct environments, which end with two twin times. The conservation situation of the room it was not the same in both environments. There portion of the room on the north side, showed a very serious lesion at the time and the consequent collapse of a lot of surface. After a structural consolidation by sewing the bricks, done prior to our intervention, we rebuilt the central part of the vault using an anchoring structure to guarantee it stability.
ROOM 6: The room 10 and room 6 are adjacent and communicating. They are the first two rooms that were faced during the restoration of the villa. They too presented a fairly advanced state of decay, in particular room 10, where a large part of the stucco cornice had been lost due to the abundant infiltrations from the terrace above the room.
ROOM 8: In room 8 the restoration work involved the fragment of the decorated ceiling present in the small room which is located behind room 9, beyond the wooden serving hatch that divides the two rooms. The decoration it is similar to the decorations in room 9, thus underlining the continuity between them. The intervention also covered the wooden wardrobe that contained the food rack ups and downs (which unfortunately has not remained intact).
ROOM 9: Fortunately, room 9 it presented less humidity problems than the other rooms in the villa. The conservative restoration it took place trying to unite the parties of decoration missing with the pre-existing ones accompanying the shortcomings with neutral and slightly subdued chromatic backgrounds. Even the woods have been conservatively intervened, by choice of the construction management, with careful cleaning and a minimal intervention of integration and punctual pictorial retouching. This being the only room where a restoration was also opted conservative of the upholstery original, the result after the restorations is truly fascinating.
ROOM 11: In this room at the entrance to the villa, adjacent to the winter garden, the restoration work involved the portion of the lateral pilaster in sandstone which is part of the old structural system of the villa, dating back to before the expansion changes.
ROOM 29: Room 29, also known as the library room, is characterized by the presence of a remarkable wooden ceiling in walnut with decorated drawers and 5 large bookcases, one of which with a showcase probably used as a bar corner. The restoration of the room involved the walls, without decorations, the ceiling and the bookcases, one of which has been modified and adapted to contain the fan coils for heating the room.
STAIRWAY: The restoration of room V1, also called the staircase, involved all the wall and decorative surfaces of the aforementioned. The restoration also involved the central wrought iron chandelier and a side lantern with its support also in wrought iron, located on the ground floor. Finally, the wooden staircase and in wrought iron has been cleaned, consolidated and chromatically integrated.