Colonia fluviale "Roberto Farinacci"

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Colonie elioterapiche

other name:

Colonia Padane
Colonia Cremonesi del Po


Cremona (CR)
via Lungo Po Europa

architect:   ing. Carlo Gaudenzi
year: 1936
capacity: 1500

partly used as nightclub

This daytime colony was built as part of an urban renewal which was initiated by Roberto Farinacci and the architect Nino Mori. For the design of the building the architect Carlo Gaudenzi was commissioned. Size and name of this colony are tributes to the outstanding position of Roberto Farinacci who was the "Ras" of the Cremona Fascio and was rated as the right hand of Mussolini.

The layout of the ground floor describes a semicircle which center is marked by a slender tower. In front of the façade a concrete grid serves as ribs for the building. Between the grid and the building stairs lead to the upper floor which is much taller than the ground floor. The upper floor contains the kitchen, a vast dining hall, restrooms, an examination room and the directorate while in the ground floor contains changing rooms, restrooms, showers, storage, a laundry and a coal store.

On the back the building is designed very sculptural: loggias, terraces, balconies, stairs, edges and setbacks. In this way the buildings looks like a huge machine and therefore the slender tower as to piston for giant lifting movements. (An interpretation of the machine aesthetic and the mechanic movement motive can be found in the thesis of Katharina Torkler) Furthermore the semicircular bow shapes, the railing, the lateral corridors and bull's eyes let it look like an ocean liner which was a popular motive in modernist architecture: the ship as a symbol for the takeoff into the future. The building strikes by its intense color: extraordinary bright yellow and orange foster the sculptural design.

The backyard embraces a shallow kidney-shaped pool. A massive gate is juxtaposed to the building. Obviously it has only symbolic functions because the little path leading to it ends directly at the gate respectively the pool. To the left and the right of the path are pergolas covering seating areas.

The Fascist artistic program was erased: Right before the entrance a statue with holding a fasces above her head received visitors. Below the concrete shades were the name lettering. On the tower which rises in the middle axis behind the twostorey building the initials of the Fascist party PNF and national emblems the three fasces were fixed. The balustrade of the speaker's balcony on the backside of the tower was decorated with a relief showing marching soldiers. The backyard gate was flanked by to other statues. Above them on the wall Ms for Mussolonis were emblazoned.

One part of the colony is used as a night club but the building is in bad condition. The surrounding park is open to the public.

historical images

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photos © Dan Dubowitz

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photos © Arne Winkelmann

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photos © Florian Kirfel

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Feraboli, Maria Teresa, L'ingegner Carlo Gaudenzi: un protagonista del moderno a Cremona, in: La Scuola classica di Cremona. Annuario 2001, Cremona, 2001, pp. 155-176

Feraboli, Maria Teresa, Le 114 colonie fluviali, campestri ed elioterapiche diurne in provincia di Cremona, in: La Scuola classica di Cremona. Annuario 1999, Cremona, 1999, pp. 113-139

Feraboli, Maria Teresa, Le ex-Colonie cremonesi del Po, tesi di specializzazione in Restauro dei Monumenti, Politecnico di Milano, 1999
film: Istituto Luce 20.07.1938