Restoration facades of Ranzi Palace



Elisa Burnazzi, Davide Feltrin




studio archives, Carlo Baroni

The Ranzi Palace is located in the historic center of Trento and it is one of the most important town’s buildings, thanks to the neo-Renaissance proportions and the beautiful terracotta decorations that adorn the facades.
The palace was built in 1862 by Francesco Ranzi, enlightened entrepreneur, at the site of a sumac mill and before a Romanesque tower. The main facade overlooks the Piazza S. Maria Maggiore, whereas the secondary, which is also narrower, faces the Via A. Rosmini. The Ranzi Palace’s popular name, palaz da le teste, derives from the presence of fifteen terracotta reliefs of the sculptor Andrea Malfatti, representing the most celebrated artists and intellectuals from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century in Trentino. The facade consists of four levels, the height of which decreases as you go up: it is divided vertically by pilasters, thereby creating a symmetry, which highlights the main entrance to the city center, decorated by a more sophisticated ornamentation than others.
On the ground floor there are round-arched doors, on the first and second floor round-arched lancet windows, while, on the top floor, still mullioned windows, but low arched. As a crowning achievement, under the lintel, there are some oculi, in line with the openings on the lower levels.
The restoration work, also supported by an archive historical research, implied, in particular, the restoration of plasters, cleaning, consolidation and protection of the sculptures and stones. Noteworthy are the faux marble friezes discovered on the facade in front of the Piazza S. Maria Maggiore, on the ground floor, around the heads in terracotta reflections of the arches, and along Via A. Rosmini, in the entablature of the eaves.