External Exedra

Particolare dell’Esedra esterna alla Corte d’ingresso alla villa (Fototeca ISAL-BAMS Photo Rodella)
Detail of the external part of the Exedra at the courtyard entrance of the villa (ISAL Photo Archive-BAMS Photo Rodella)

The Pelagio Palagi project for lawyer, Giovanni Traversi, owner of the Villa since 1817, included the exedra made up by several buildings and beyond the street today, with the façade overlooking the grand gate that leads to the courtyard entrance. Under the design of Pelagio Palagi, the walls of the edifices that surrounded the plaza were raised, creating a dramatic perspective on an urban scale that underlined the political power achieved by the Traversi family, and favouring the extension of the architectural volumes of service quarters without affecting the harmonious vision of the aristocratic complex.

The construction of these buildings went beyond the mere sphere of efficiency always dear to Giovanni Traversi who never forgot his bourgeois beginnings which centred on the production processes and industrialisation functions, acquiring a symbolic-territorial value. The lawsuit filed by the municipality against this family for taking over the square in front of the villa indicates the attitude of open rivalry between the institutions and the bourgeois family in the 19th and 20th centuries, when Traversi, feeling threatened by his own hegemony over Desio, devised and pursued the project of constructing a new street that would come from the station and emerge in the Exedra square, passing under the arch of triumph from where one could enjoy the view of the villa complex. It was decided that a plaque be put in the piazza to indicate its private nature, sparking grievances on the part of the institution that filed a lawsuit and lost.
These areas belong to different owners today and are not always in perfect condition. Their partitioning and transformation of use have resulted in the partial loss of internal space even if these buildings have maintained the same evocative imprint of the original project of Palagi.