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Palazzo Strozzi's façade revisited by Ai Weiwei

Palazzo Strozzi in Florence

Beautiful palace that hosts many best international exhibits

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Construction of Palazzo Strozzi began in 1489, under the direction of Simone del Pollaiolo, known as Il Cronaca. Filippo Strozzi died before the palazzo was finished and his children were the first to live there, in around 1505. After a long period of time, during which the Strozzi family lived in Rome, the palazzo was returned to its original splendour in the mid-1800s with the Princess Antonietta, and then with Prince Piero, who, from 1886 to 1889, had the building renovated by architect Pietro Berti.

Palazzo Strozzi is the perfect example of a Renaissance noble residence and the complex seems, based on the wishes of Filippo Strozzi himself, like a small fortress in the heart of the city. It was purposefully built to be larger than Palazzo Medici Riccardi, copying its cubic shape over three floors, each divided by linear framework surrounding an internal courtyard. One of the building's principle characteristics are the fifteenth century architectural features of the facade: linear and symmetric, the stone ashlar-work is stout at the ground floor level and fades out as it reaches the upper floors, almost until becoming smooth.

On three sides, on via Tornabuoni, in Piazza Strozzi and on Via Strozzi, there the building's three imposing entranceways, surrounded by rectangular windows. Along the two upper floors are two rows of twin lancet windows that feature the Strozzi family's coat of arms. The imposing, decorated frame is held up with large stills. The external facade is adnorned with splendid torch holders, flag holders and rings to tie horses (made by Niccolò di Nofri, known as il Caparra, on the designs of Benedetto da Maiano.)

Inside the building, the beautiful courtyard, made by Cronaca, is surrounded by archways on all four sides. The archways rest on columns of Corinthian capital. On the ground floor, visiotrs can admire the beautiful Dala Ferri. On the second floor, in correspondence to the courtyard is a loggia on columns resting on wooden trusses. On the nobile floor, there are large rooms with elegant twin lancet windows and monumental fireplaces.

The palazzo belonged to the Strozzi family until 1937, the year in which is was bought by the Instituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni. It was later given to the State in 1999 and it was given in concession to the city of Florence.

Since the Second World War, Palazzo Strozzi has been considered one of the most important exhibition spaces in the city for temporary shows, which, in the past, some were dedicated to Peggy Guggenheim (1949),Gustav Klimt(1992), Italian Still Life (2003) Botticelli and Filippino Lippi (the most visited exhibit in Italy in 2004), Leon Battista Alberti(2006) and Cezanne in Florence (2007).

Since July 2006, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi has been able to create a rich and innovative calendar of events and exhibits, in these areas of the building: Piano Nobile, la Strozzina and Il Cortile.

Disabled Access:
On the right side of the palazzo, there is a ramp (covering two steps) and a second ramp (covering 1 step) to reach the ticket office. The first section of the pavement of the entranceway is not well laid. The exhibition spaces of the building are all accessible via an elevator and more ramps.

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi
p.zza Strozzi 50123 Firenze - tel +39 055 2776461/06

Source: Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi