Turin or Torino, both correct,
…it just depends on who you ask.
Artist Patrycja Holuk takes us on a (for now) virtual trip to her adopted home city and an insight into why it’s such an inspiration to students of design.
They call Turin a piccola Parigi and I absolutely agree. The French influence is clearly evident. There are wide streets with tall trees, the River Po and great piazzas with grand palazzos at every corner, but, let’s be clear, the similarities end there. The atmosphere in Turin is much more secluded, almost private. You have to earn it., peel away the layers to discover it, a bit like a pomegranate.
I studied graphic and virtual design at the Politecnico di Torino after graduating from Giuseppi and Quintino Art School in Biella, and actually won a graphic design competition. However, Politecnico wasn’t a perfect fit so I left to join my family’s business as a pastry chef. However art and the need to make art is something that is not like a tap that one can turn on and off, and it was clear that any diversions were simply that, diversions.
What to see
Turin is spectacular, with many architectural highlights, both historically and aesthetically, the must-sees include Reggia di Venaria, a marvellous XVII century palace surrounded by nature, with a beautiful ballroom and temporary art installation by Valeria Berruti of a carousel.
Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, Villa della Regina the Museo Nazionale del Cinema which is Turin’s National Museum of Cinema located in the Mole Antonelliana Tower – there’s an obligatory lift ride to the top.
A more recent edition is the architecturally significant Palazzo degli Affari designed by the genius architect and designer Carlo Mollino. His home, Museo Casa Mollino has now been transformed into a museum which inspired me to create Hint.
The Fiat Building, Lingotto – a category all of its own
The ‘ribs’ of the building, are like the skeleton of a dragon and if you’re curious like me, you just have to understand the history. The building is a constant source of discovery, really. I didn’t know there’s a pinacotheca inside (with Matisse, Modigliani and Renoir paintings!) until very recently. And now there is another transformation: the famed Italian Job roof track is being reinvented as gardens. This is what I love about cities: constant evolution responding to the needs of the people.
A trip out of town
Prato, a commuter’s trip from Turin is home to the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Italy’s first museum dedicated solely to Contemporary Art. Designed by Italo Gamberini and extended by Maurice Nio in 2016
Where to eat
A mandatory for any visitor to Turin is to stop by Caffè Al Bicerin, a Turin institution since its opening in 1763. But sometimes when it’s just about grabbing a coffee, or lingering over an aperitivo then my favourite places are Barneys, a bar located inside the 18th Century Palazzo Graneri della Roccia (very Turin – the old and the new side by side) or for a cosier atmosphere head to 16 Pincopallo, Bar Beatrice or Magazzini Oz. Another spot is Snodo, which started life as a terminal to repair trains, its a place with a strong industrial esthetic which is now a cafe and events space.
My work in progress
BARNEY’S (it’s a Book Club)