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  • Writer's pictureCristina Casalis

The Totally by Costas Varotsos and The Intesa Sanpaolo skyline

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

The Totally by Costas Varotsos

The Totally is a work by the Greek sculptor Costas Varotsos.

He studied painting at Rome’s Academia di Belle Arti and architecture at the Scuola di Architettura of Pescara, where he attended lesson by Giorgio Grassi. Even from his first works in Italy, mainly performances and sculptures, Varotsos started to express an interest in space.

From 1983 he focused exclusively on sculpture. He uses transparent materials, such as glass, plexiglass and water, but also steel or stone in order to create works with a social and symbolic character. He is especially interested in the communicational and emotional impact of the work on the viewer.

The Totally is a 9 metres glass sculpture with a steel core.

The sculpture owes its fluid and dynamic movement to the detailed geometry of its underlying steel structure which is composed of 3 central tube sections to which pairs of horizontal trays are welded of 29 large trays. The sculpture is also unbalanced in one direction with respect to the support base providing an overall impression of movement as the first section is inclined by 10 °.

This work was inspired by “The Elusive Figure”, a sculpture from the 5th century BC which is located in the Archaeological Museum of Eleusis, Greece. The subject rushes forward, and at the same time glances over his shoulder so as not to forget the past.

Varotsos dedicated his sculpture to the city of Turin, this work aims to express the ability to lean forward into the future while keeping a keen awareness of the learnings from our past.

The work was built by Costas Varotsos in 1998 – 1999 and placed in Piazza Benefica.

In 2017 was removed to be redesigned, in the light of technological innovations and restored.

The restore project and the relative works to relocate the work, carried out thanks to the memorandum of understanding signed between the City of Turin, the “La Venaria Reale” Conservation and Restoration Center and Intesa Sanpaolo.

The Totally- close-up view
The Totally- aerial view

The sculpture’s stand is completed by a small green hill bordered by shrubs which represent a deterrent against possible vandalism while ensuring a fair overall view of the structure.

The sculpture was relocated inside the Nicola Grosa garden next to the Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper.

The Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper, a building of the homonym banking group, is a project by Renzo Piano.

Renzo Piano- Intesa Sanpaolo skyline
Renzo Piano- Intesa Sanpaolo skyline

It is considered the most ecological European skyline and it is one of the ten in the world of the category of New Constructions. The project fully met the following consultation criteria: architectural innovation, environmental sustainability and integration between work environments and public places.

The project remarks the sustainability thanks to the layer water for the reduction of temperature during the summer, powered by electric energy from renewable sources and 1600 sqm of photovoltaic panels.

The east and west façades are covered by a “double skin” in steel and glass led by sensors regulating the opening and closing to optimize the temperature and brightness of the interiors.

Rain water, collected in special tanks, feeds both the irrigation system of the green areas and the flushing cisterns of toilets.

Intesa Sanpaolo skyline- garden
Intesa Sanpaolo- restaurant Piano35

The Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper has at its summit a public restaurant alongside a roof garden and a panoramic terrace that providing a special view over the city; at its base it has a multifunctional public hall/auditorium.

The skyline has obtained the certification energetic for the A class; the building has 32 levels above and 5 levels below. The building was inaugurated in the 2015.

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