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Architecture

GIL House

Architecture · Südtirols Süden · 262 m ·
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First Avenue Explorers Choice 
  • Today the GIL building is the seat of the EURAC - European Academy.
    / Today the GIL building is the seat of the EURAC - European Academy.
    Photo: First Avenue
  • / Der Plan für den Umbau stammt vom österreichischen Architekten Klaus Kada
    Photo: First Avenue
  • / Beim Umbau wurden vorhandene Elemente sorgfältig restauriert.
    Photo: First Avenue
  • / Eine Luftaufnahme des neu erbauten Gil-Gebäudes. Foto Bozner Stadtarchiv
    Photo: First Avenue
  • / In den 80er Jahren war das ehemalige GIL-Gebäude bereits stark verwahrlost.
    Photo: First Avenue
A building on the right bank of the Talvera in Bolzano whose name is often shortened to GIL House today is the home of EURAC, a European research centre.
GIL House was originally commissioned by an organization called ONB - "Opera Nazionale Balilla", a youth wing of the Italian Fascist Party, as a centre for pre-school education as envisaged by the regime. This organization and the "Fasci Giovanili di Combattimento", which was another paramilitary youth group, combined in the 1930 to form the fascist youth organization GIL - "Gioventù Italiana del Littorio".

For the organization's girls' section, it was planned to open a "Casa della Giovane Italiana" (house for young Italian women) in Bolzano. The architects firm of Franceso Mansutti und Giuseppe Miozzo in Padua was chosen as contractor.
The stated purpose of the building was the welfare as well as academic and physical education of young girls, but clearly indoctrination and propaganda were also to be part of their "training".

However, the architects of the time had already moved on from monumentalism and ideologically influenced designs, and tried to use modern and clear shapes to instil a certain elegance in the new building. This effort becomes apparent when looking at the elliptical theatre which is connected to the main building only through a pergola. This structure allows the creation of visible free spaces and conveys a certain openness to the entire complex, right up to the water wall promenade.

After the war, its "reputation" as a fascist building led to an increasing dilapidation of the complex. Parts of GIL House were temporarily used as a supermarket, as a cinema and even as a makeshift home for animals, until the building was completely abandoned and used by homeless people as a shelter.

Finally, in the 1990s, the badly maintained buildings were chosen as the future headquarters of EURAC. An international competition was won by the Austrian architect Klaus Kada, and in 2002 the former GIL House opened its doors to its new role.

Coordinates

DD
46.494340, 11.346950
DMS
46°29'39.6"N 11°20'49.0"E
UTM
32T 680102 5151650
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GIL House

39100 Bozen
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