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  • General view of the sea-front side, Collegio del Calambrone, Calambrone, Pisa.zoom in altra finestra
  • View of the beach  at the central body of the personnel and administration building, Collegio del Calambrone, Calambrone, Pisa.zoom in altra finestra

Collegio del Calambrone [Calambrone Boarding School]

Planned by the Royal Associated Hospitals of Livorno as a heliotherapy village designed for the children of Italians living abroad, the camp named for Queen Elena was built in 1932 - 1933 to the project of the architect Ghino Venturi. In 1937 its function as heliotherapy centre was extended to include that of scholastic boarding school. Its activity came to an end in 1977.

The architectural ensemble presents a simplified decoration scheme, deriving from the fusion of classicism and rationalism. The complex, whose layout symbolises a great stretch of beach, is made up of three buildings, two parallel to and one at right angles to the coastline. The building on the sea to the north was designed to serve as residence for the children, while the one to the south was reserved to the camp's personnel and administration. The other building was occupied by the nurse and the healthcare facilities. The three buildings are connected by a long portico. The camp is situated in a large garden of geometric design, filled with pine trees, palm trees and plants typical of the Mediterranean macchia.

The hostel was built within the context of urban initiatives of the 1930s aimed at founding villages for children, whose original design derived from the Futurist concept of the manifesto One city of continuous lines, while retaining a close relationship with the surrounding environment structured in bands (pinewoods, beach, and sea).

Today, after a long period of abandonment, the complex has undergone major restoration, which has transformed it into a tourist/hotel facility, within the context of the program for upgrading the Calambrone area.


Texts by Graziano Magrini

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 22/feb/2008