The new layout of the Sala del Cartone di Raffaello by Stefano Boeri Architetti

April 19, 2019

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The new layout of the Sala del Cartone di Raffaello by Stefano Boeri Architetti

After four years of restoration, the preparatory drawing for the fresco of the School of Athens becomes again the protagonist of the scene thanks to the intervention of Stefano Boeri, who designed the new layout of the Sala del Cartone di Raffaello.

Located in the Vatican Museums, the new Sala V, renamed for the occasion Sala del Cartone, was entirely designed to house the Cartoon and to keep the visitor’s attention fully focused on Raphael’s work, which becomes, the only protagonist of the scene fo the first time.

All of our set-up choices, starting from the approaching sequences  the great Cartoon, are designed to prepare the public for the vision of a work that holds – intact – in itself a wonderful conjunction of meanings, being at the time a finished work and yet destined to be the preparation of a final work, “says Stefano Boeri. “For this reason, we have designed a large solid oak table (made by Riva1920) for the same room, aimed to collect texts and in-depth documents on the history of the Cartoon, on how it has been made, on its relationship with the fresco in the Sala della Segnatura in the Vatican Museums”.

From previous set-up designs, the one of Luigi Caccia Dominioni in the 1960s and the one of Griffini in the 1990s, we have maintained some elements of continuity, such as the position of the Cartoon on the western wall and a filter wall before being in front of the artwork, despite having radically changed the ways in which the work is perceived”, explains Marco Giorgio, Project Director of Stefano Boeri Architetti.

The design of the hall is aimed to maximize the environmental comfort of the work itself in order to guarantee its conservation over time.

The space is essential, with dark colors and opaque materials, in order to protect the work and prevent deterioration. The light has also been reduced to a minimum, guaranteeing values of 25 lux, which are the parameters for the lighting provided for fragile works of art such as Raphael’s Cartoon“, adds Francesca Motta, Project Leader by Stefano Boeri Architetti.

The “Ben Finito Cartone” is protected by a large case, a single sheet of glass, equal in size to the work itself,  8 meters wide – 3 meters high, transported inside the room through a slit obtained in the side Pinacoteca’s façade.

The double laminated glass sheet has been subjected to an anti-reflective and extra-clear treatment to allow the best possible vision, to an anti-ultraviolet treatment to avoid the deterioration of the 210 paper sheets that make the work and it is designed to maintain humidity parameters constant in order to protect the Cartoon in time; in addition, the casement door can be opened in order to check the work and adjust its tension through an aluminum and wooden frame.

The only counter-field to the artwork is the Didactic Table realized in collaboration with Riva1920, in solid oak wood obtained from a single 150-year-old trunk cut into two 4-meter-long boards on a burnished iron base.

A homage to the master Raphael and to the beauty of his masterpiece.