Headquarters – Gaslini Villa

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The Headquarters - Archive Photo.

The project of the villa located in Corso Italia no. 26 in Genoa was commissioned to Gino Coppedè, an architect from Florence by the Canali Family who previously bought the area from Count Raggio. The villa was built in the 1920s. He also designed the Mackenzie Castle, and the Pastorino Palace located in via Bartolomeo Bosco.

Formerly the headquarters of the General Consulate of Japan, the villa was bought in 1942 by Gerolamo Gaslini to make it his own house, but over the years from 1943 to 1947 it was occupied by the German army first and later on by the South African ones belonging to the allied army. They established their own command there.  

The Gaslini Family lived there from 1948 up until the death of all its members: Countess Lorenza died in 1963, Senator Gerolamo died in 1964 and Germana died in 1988.

The janitor’s quarters are directly located in Corso Italia and their structure is very similar to the one of the villa with its ledges and narrowings. Together with the villa and the garden the janitor’s quarters give the area a spectacular view

The garden, while reproducing the patterns of the naturalistic current, still in vogue at the beginning of the century, has some inserts such as a bridge and walkways in some pseudo-caves that rekindle and unmistakably characterize it. Through the access avenue you can reach the manor house which consists of four floors (one of them is partially underground), and has a rather articulated shape, centred around a central parallelepiped, laterally limited by two lower bodies, dominated by two terraces in correspondence of the second floor.

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The Headquarters - External  view.

The polychrome feature of the building is defined by: the graduation of the external decorative apparatus made of raw stone in the basement area, tiles and ceramics on the first floor and painted plaster on the attic and the use of the white travertine for all minor pieces of furniture.

The façade of the villa has a Southern exposure and it is embellished by a beautiful lodge that runs along all the mezzanine, where the boardrooms are located. It is reachable by two flights of stairsThe monumental staircase is located on the Northern front and it is entirely made of wood. By climbing the monumental staircase you can reach the first floor through three wide flights of stairs. The lavish decorations of this space give it a monumental touch.

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The Headquarters - Internal  view.

You enter a vast hall, which acts as a distributor of the spaces and the two rooms adjacent to it, the living room and the dining room (now the Boardroom's meeting room) in spatial continuity with the outside
There are valuable furnishings and pieces of furniture as well as numerous paintings depicting the members of the Gaslini family in later periods.+

The first floor was originally intended for the master bedroom area, the rooms are decorated with stucco or frescoes, except for the stairwell which is covered by a coffered inlaid wooden ceiling.

The use of round arched openings with marble and brick inlays, mullioned and three-light windows, the presence of coffered floors and other internal furnishing elements, underline the link between Coppedè and the medieval Florentine tradition, a constant in his production.