Historical building, Bologna
Casa Barilli was built between 1906 and 1907 and was one of the first big storehouses of the city. Its architect was Leonida Bertolazzi, who was also in charge of some of the restorations taking place in different hospitals of Bologna (Sant’Orsola, Gozzadini and Budrio Hospital).
Among his works, most of them lost during World War II, we find the decorations of the main façade of the original Maggiore Hospital, demolished during the bombings, and protagonist of some of the most important episodes during the Liberation War, such as the Battle of Porta Lame.
Casa Barilli is one of his last works, as he died in 1913. The building follows almost completely those days trends, especially the Art Nouveau movement. A few years later Bertolazzi will work with Augusto Sezanne in the design of the famous Palazzina Majani, in the same style, seat of the producers of the namesake chocolate and still visible in via dell’Indipendenza.
That the building was built to be a storehouse is evident at first-sight as it is placed in a corner, so that the products in display are easily seen from the street. The building has 4 floors, all of them decorated following the Art Nouveau style, with a huge sequence of windows all along its façade. It is embellished with iron railings, one of the excellent productions of the Emilian Industry showing a perfect balance between beauty and usefulness.
To complete the scene, the wings of Mercury are placed on the frame that separates the second and third floors, as a reminder of the freshness and lightness that Art Nouveau had brought to the city.
Casa Barilli has recently gone through renovation works and now hosts the shop of a well-known American brand.