Its doors have been shut since the 1980s, but this 16th-century church in northern Italy is starting a new life as a cultural centre.
Gallerist Enrica De Micheli has taken over Piacenza’s Church of Sant’Agostino, renovating it and reopening it as Volumnia – a new home for art and design in the city.
She worked with local architect Enrico De Benedetti on the adaptive reuse of the 3,000 sqm church, which will host a restaurant, exhibition space, and year-round programme of events. While the bistro is still in development, De Benedetti has taken a light touch with the rest of the building, polishing its classical bones.
On 6 April Volumina’s inaugural show will open, dedicated to works by late designer Gabriella Crespi. Joseph Grima of Space Caviar is conceiving the exhibition space, which will display some 30 pieces from De Micheli’s collection.
The refurb is part of a new policy by Italy’s State Property Office, which is handing over the keys to buildings across the country, in exchange for their restoration. (Local authorities across the country are also adopting similar policies, offering dilapidated houses for sale for as little as €1 in an effort to preserve crumbling architecture.)
Stradone Farnese 33, – Piacenza – Emilia-Romagna
10 art galleries in resurrected churches
Historic Swiss monastery is reborn as new arts hub Muzeum Susch