In the years of urban growth after WW II Riccardo Morandi designed and built a multi-purpose building that houses shops, warehouses, houses and an impressive cinema. In a densely inhabited district, characterized by an intensive expansion, the building determines a square, an important urban void in the fabric saturated district. The polyfunctionality of the building is clearly highlighted by articulating elements that are independent and distinguishable from one another. The block of residences, strictly serial and compact in the upper area, is superimposed on the cinema which, through the large windows and the stairs brought to the facade, denounces its public function. In the basement there are warehouses and service areas. The facade is therefore characterized by a large window to which the residential area is superimposed, a decentralized mass that unbalances the facade asymmetrically. The central window overlooking the entrance reveals and highlights the structure as a main element and strongly characterizing the aesthetic quality of the building. The structural solution chosen for the realization of foundations, for covering the hall, the gallery and of the frame of the residential block, was the technique of the prestressing of reinforced concrete. The structure of the original cinema theater, currently readapted to a multiplex, consisted of six large pre-stressed and tapered lame portals that, from the entrance to the proscenium, marked the large hall longitudinally while supporting the block of the residences above.
The work witness to Morandi's great mastery in the use of the technique of prestressing, a skill that enabled him to translate the technological choices into solutions of considerable figurative power. Morandi's work defines, together with that of other masters such as Nervi, Luccichenti and Moretti, a real line of research on the form of the structure as the main character of the form of architecture.