Contemporary exhibit facilities in historical environments

The glass pavilion we designed in the ancient Lonato fortress is not the first building with an exhibit function built in an historical environment in Italy and internationally.

The most famous example is the glass Pyramid in the Louvre courtyard, finished in 1989.
The main concept was to create a new space to welcome visitors, as an expression of cutting-edge architectural style but also of harmonious coexistence between the new and the ancient spaces of the museum.
This was conceived as a sort of skylight, 20 meters high, over the underground entrance to the museum; the new building houses restaurants, galleries, shops, libraries and an auditorium. The pyramid is like an extension overground of the mainly underground spaces.

© Louvre pyramis, I.M. Pei & Associates, photo credit: Benh Lieu Song

The followings are examples of new architectural additions built with the goal to upgrade historical buildings.

An old church was converted into a new auditorium with a multifunctional cultural space in the Sant Francesc Monastery in spain

© Sant Francesc Monastery, David Closes arquitecte, photo credit: Jordi Surroca

Renovation of St Ambrose Abbey Castle in Turin combined the ancient with the contemporary therefore giving a new life to the monumental complex with both a public space and a hotel.

© St Ambrose Abbey Castle, Studioata, photo credit: Beppe Giardino

The ancient Penitents’ Monastery in Normandy was converted into a new school for music – l’Ècole de Musique Maurice Duruflè; a very compact design where a new addition overlooks the ancient elements, but it’s still the historical building dictating the layout and suggesting new architectural solutions.

As with the pavilion of the Lonato del Garda fortress, ancient walls are reflected by the mirroring walls of the new building, suggesting an illusion of a long lost continuity.

At the same time the front of the new building reflects the natural environment and the ever changing sky.

© Music school in Louvier, OPUS 5, photo credit: Luc Boegly

Pavilion inside the Doria Castle in Dolceacqua (IM).

© Castello dei Doria, LD+SR

Renovation and expansion of the Culture and History Museum of Castel Tirolo; site-specific and bold architectural interventions with clean shapes and natural materials, able to interact with a multilayered site with a great landscape.

© Castel Tirolo, Markus Scherer Architekt, photo credit: Markus Scherer

Renovation of the lower level of the Franzensfeste fortress: historical buildings were preserved and converted into exhibition spaces while mantaining the overall character of historical fortress.

© Franzensfeste fortress, Markus Scherer Architekt, photo credit: René Riller

Let's work


  • Via Guido Cavalcanti, 16, 20127 Milano (MI)

  • Via Repubblica, 2C, 25017 Lonato del Garda (BS)


About us

TOP TAG is an ever evolving project created in Milan in 2008 by Nick Bellora, Nicole Bonini and Francesco Carli with the mission to invest in their professional skills and experiences.

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