Largo Marco Biagi - Modena - MO
Set in a quarter of the city that was undergoing great change following the final demolition of the citadel’s bastions, the Fascist Headquarters (GRF “XXVI Settembre"), built in 1934 and 1935 to plans by Mario Guerzoni, is one of the most complicated and conspicuous quarters built in Modena for its size.
It was probably this city location itself that determined its layout: it in fact stands on the spot where Viale Storchi meets Via Emilia. Confirming the importance of the façade facing the old city centre is a brick tower, a true urban signal whose impact was enhanced by the openings on the top corner and the flagpole lined up with the vertical continuous glazing below.
The rest of the façade on Viale Storchi, with its markedly horizontal lines, features smooth plastered surfaces set with continuous glazing and interrupted by columns in exposed brickwork. This side has a sculptural, monumental entrance that shows signs of the “twentieth-century” training of Guerzoni, even more obvious in the GRF “Sinigaglia”, built just a little earlier. The façade on Via Bacchini meanwhile has another entrance, set back and overlooking a sort of forecourt formed by two symmetrical buildings. Inside it houses a large multi-purpose area, which, like all the GRF, could be used as needed as a cinema, gym or ceremonial hall.
After careful restoration between 2006 and 2008 to plans by Tiziano Lugli, the property is today the headquarters of the University Marco Biagi Foundation, named after the labour law expert assassinated by the Red Brigades in 2002.