Fondazione Ansaldo

Fondazione Ansaldo

Villa Cattaneo dell'Olmo

Villa Cattaneo "dell'Olmo", Ansaldo Foundation’s prestigious Headquarters, is a particularly successful example of reclamation and reutilization of a suburban Genoese residence.  This house in Cornigliano Campi, adjoining the fourteenth-century Benedictine abbey of San Nicol√≤ del Boschetto, Villa Cattaneo dell’Olmo belonged to the noble family Grimaldi which owned a fond in the second half of the 15th century and a villa with a piece of land one century later. This site was subject to many transfers of property since the half of the 17th century, when the Cattaneo family, heir of the Grimaldi family, reconstructed the house as a country manor.

The structure of the villa recalls the models of the architect Galeazzo Alessi for the Genoese residences in Strada Nuova (currently Via Garibaldi). The structure, the dimensions and the distribution are typical of the functional language characterizing the noble residences of the modern age.

The organization of the interiors shows the separation between the areas where collective life took place, including the private chapel on the first floor, and the area of private rooms and of the stateroom on the main floor.

The internal decorations, painted at the half of the 18th century and entrusted by the Cattaneos to the Bolognese painter Giacomo Boni (1688-1766) and his studio, give a rhythm to the well-defined distribution of the spaces, from the trompe d'oeil in the hall to the motif of the main stairs, to finish with the Arcadian and mythological scenes of the stateroom.

On the main floor room and in the crape, the decoration was painted at a later time and it dates back to the neoclassical period but it is well balanced with the previous cycle.

After another change of ownership in the 19th century, the sitting rooms of the ground floor was painted with some frescoes, the last decorations made in the building. Villa Cattaneo "dell'Olmo", bought in 1978 by Ansaldo, has been completely restored. The restoration brought to the reclamation of its internal and external areas.

The wide tree-lined avenue which brought from the main entrance to the gate, was straighten up. The same was done for the garden in front of the villa and the parterre planted with trees to which access is possible to  the first floor of the building and on which opens an entrance to the chapel.

The restoration of the internal and external spaces using techniques which allowed to preserve the original frescoes, made it possible to use this particular building for such an important institution. 



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