From a masterpiece of Adolofo Coppedè to a compromising state of decay

(University of Florence – Dipartimento di Architettura, Florence, Italy)

Keywords: digital survey, mausoleum, liberty architecture, Coppedè, Tuscany

The study shows the results of the digital and photographic surveys operated on an architectural work of great importance: it is the Mausoleum for Tonietti family, by Adolfo Coppedè, built on the Elba Island in Tuscany-Italy at the beginning of the 20th century.
The current alarming conditions of the building invite to make some reflections on the unpleasant but common fate of many architectures of the Liberty and Eclectic period in Italy. With the evolution of rationalism of the architectural form and thus the gradual purifying of decorative plastic organisms from architectural objects, architectural research, and with it the observation and conservation of cultural heritage, has focused increasingly on new rational style, omitting so many examples in floral style equally deserving of attention.
The alarming state of preservation of Tonietti Mausoleum, combined with the total absence of projects by local authorities, set the conditions for the dissolution of the work and the consequent loss of the cultural and territorial connotation that it creates.
The processing of the surveys and the gathering of documentation wants to create the basis for the comparison of work conditions in its original state and the current form, fixing the actual conditions of decay.
There is the hope that this work can create a conservative practical input that restores the integrity of the cultural property designed by the youngest of Coppedè brothers, giving to it its real and necessary value in the study of the history of architecture and the development of the evolutionary dialogue necessarily connected to the same historical evolution.