Palazzo Russo is located in Piazza San Pantaleo, on the corner of Via di San Pantaleo and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Towards the end of the 19th century, following various demolitions for the opening of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, the square underwent the changes that gave it its current appearance.
A Neo-Renaissance building, it is inspired by the adjacent Palazzo Braschi, as represented by the five windows on the main façade.
Several ceilings in the palace are decorated with frescoes, some of which have been lost, such as those on the main floor.
The structure is composed of two types of masonry: tuff blocks with bricks and solid brick blocks. The basement has a masonry perimeter consisting of tuff blocks of irregular size and shape interspersed with solid bricks arranged in three rows. The walls and columns are made of solid brick masonry in mortar.
The ground floor and mezzanine are also made of solid bricks in mortar, with rustic ashlar cladding. While the other floors of the building are of tuff block masonry, with solid bricks and lime/pozzolan mortar joints.
The thickness of the walls differs by about 10 cm per floor, with the upper walls being about 80-100 cm thick.
The floors can be considered as deformable since there is no curb connecting them to the masonry. In the lower floors they are supported by arches or vaults.
Before proceeding with the restoration, Vivenda carried out a vulnerability modelling and verification of the structure including both the de facto and design state. The objective was to identify the capacity increase obtained in terms of seismic risk index and the relative improvement compared to the building‘s original state.
Investigations revealed no injuries or damage to structural elements.
For the decorative architectural elements, in agreement with the superintendence, it was decided to restore the building’s original colours, which had been hidden by previous interventions.
Windows, top cornices, monumental balconies, stringcourses and ashlars were decorated with faux travertine paint, while the plaster on the walls was preserved by colouring the brickwork with several passes of glazing. The original faux travertine colouring was also chosen for the exterior walls.
During the period of the building’s construction, the rooms were arranged on either side of a long central corridor, with the presence of doorways providing a connection between adjacent rooms. This subdivision represents an important vulnerability of the building, which means that its box action is lacking due to the presence of the openings of these doorways. Therefore, 44 tie-rods were inserted longitudinally and axially to the tuff masonry of the second and fourth floors, on the three external façades and on the cloister façades. The total length is 4 m of 32 mm diameter stainless steel bars, with high-performance seismic mortar to ensure total adherence of the bar within the masonry, at a height such that it falls within the wall band, above the openings and at the same time close to the intrados of the slabs above.
In this way, the bonding element between the orthogonal walls and the external façade was restored, ensuring that the structure’s capacity with respect to collapse due to façade overturning exceeds its overall capacity.