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In a land consolidated by history, as is Tuscany, if you want to express originality that isn't trivial or, worse still, elegantly empty, it’s better to surrender immediately and identify past themes that can accompany us into the future. Fabio Capanni Workshop has been pursuing this path for some time.

The redesign of the basement of the old convent of Sant'Agostino has been the chance to have a direct confrontation with history. 

In the redesign of the archaeological section at the Civic and Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art in Montalcino, carried out with Stefano Lambardi, onyx plays an unexpected role. Thin sheets of onyx are used to line the entrance door to the halls and also to give shape to the rectangular platforms of the exhibition cases, arranged in a osteological form remembering an archaeological skeleton. Further a light placed inside the cabinets highlights the material’s translucence and crystalline forms. This use evokes a past when, in the absence of glass, alabaster panels were used to fill small openings as in the ancient Sant'Antimo's Basilica, located in the neighbourhoods of Montalcino.

The luminosity and the lightness of onyx combines with the opacity and the heaviness of bronze, using especially moulded sheets to clad the treads of the staircase and the new floor, transformed in a sort of archaeological find of huge dimensions, in accord with the character of the museum. Meanwhile, with a kind of raised plinth, the boundary between the new intervention and the existing building is marked, suspending the new floor in an atmosphere of abstraction. The bronze plinth that delimits the perimeter of the exhibition rooms is illuminated from below with a blade of continuous light that rises up to the ceiling to reveal the irregular pattern of the masonry, along with the presence of an undeniable past.


Archeological Section of the Sant’Agostino Museum

Montalcino (Siena)



project and supervision of works

Fabio Capanni, Stefano Lambardi


Riccardo Butini


Rodolfo Casini, Stefano Palazzesi


Christian Richters, © Fabio Capanni

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