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Stirling finalist Chipperfield attacked over Pisa scheme

On the eve of the Stirling Prize, a scheme in Pisa by finalist David Chipperfield has been attacked by conservationists

On the eve of the Stirling Prize, a scheme in Pisa by finalist David Chipperfield has been attacked by conservationists.

David Chipperfield Architects is drawing up designs for the redevelopment of the 13th-century University Hospital of Santa Chiara, which is close to Pisa’s famous leaning belltower (Chipperfield wins international Pisa hospital comp).

But The Times has reported that Professor Piero Pierotti, head of conservation group Art Watch Italia, described Chipperfield’s proposals as ‘an eyesore which will forever harm the symmetry and harmony of the great piazza’.

He also questioned ‘the sheer scale’ of the scheme and its impact on the site – known as the Field of Miracles (Campo dei Miracoli) – which has World Heritage status.

The £138 million scheme is due for completion by 2016 and involves the transformation of the 118,000m2 hospital site into a residential, office, hotel and restaurant complex. A third of the space is reserved for public use.

On a visit to Pisa last month Chipperfield told Tuscan newspaper La Nazione that he had studied the city carefully from the top of the leaning tower to ensure that his plan fitted in with the piazza.

Chipperfield has two buildings shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize – his Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Germany, and The America’s Cup buiding in Valencia, Spain.

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