The Balilla Tower in Massa

The Balilla Tower, Massa, Tuscany Residential Development, Italian Architecture

The Balilla Tower in Massa

Colonia Marina Edoardo Agnelli, Italy – design by Vittorio Bonadè Bottino

9 Jun 2016

The Balilla Tower

Design: Vittorio Bonadè Bottino

Location: Viale Lungomare di Ponente, 22, 54100 Massa MS, Italia

Fiat Tower

The Balilla Tower

The Balilla Tower, main building of the complex of the marine colony “Edoardo Agnelli” was built in 1933. The tower is conceived as a single, endless dormitory with helical development, able to accommodate about 800 children of employees of the company FIAT. The building is perfectly preserved, and over the years has maintained its hotel function.

The Balilla Tower The Balilla Tower

Located at the northern end of Marina di Massa, the “Edoardo Agnelli” Seaside Hostel (the former Balilla Tower, later known as the Fiat Tower) was designed by Vittorio Bonadè Bottino, an engineer from Turin, in 1933 and was built to accommodate 800 children. It was and still is today used as a summer camp for the children of FIAT personnel.

The building complex is formed of three residences (the Tower, the Pinewoods, and the Terrace), a theatre, two buildings for the camp’s personnel and the custodian’s house. The name derives from the characteristic cylindrical shape of the main building.

The Balilla Tower

This is undoubtedly the best example of the “tower” type of seaside camp. Fifty-two meters high with seventeen floors, the white profile of the tower is a landmark on the northern coast of Tuscany. The interior develops in a helical structure, around a central stairwell, forming an unbroken dormitory 420 meters long and 8 meters wide. The allusive reference to the propellers of an airplane is obvious. At the same time, the design serves as an evocative advertising image for the Turin-based industry.

The building, perfectly conserved, retains most of its original finishing elements and materials. The marine environment is evoked by the predominant colours used in the building complex (white, blue and green).

Information from: Scientific Itineraries

The Balilla Tower

The Balilla Tower – Building Information

Project Title: Colonia Marina Edoardo Agnelli
Client: FIAT
Architect: Vittorio Bonadè Bottino
Site area: Marina di Massa
Gross Floor area: 41.000 m³
Location: Viale Lungomare di Ponente, 22, 54100 Massa MS, Italia
Status: In use as an Hotel
Project start date: 1933

The Balilla Tower

Author photo credit: Luca Arena

The Balilla Tower in Massa information / images received 090616


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The Balilla Tower in Massa