Florence, IMSS – Work in Progress

January 2010

The Institute and Museum of the History of Science, Florence (reopening after the rebuilding of the areas for the permanent exhibitions of the museum’s collections – May 2010).

Following the fourth Centenary of Galileo Galilei’s astronomic discoveries, work on the creation of the Museum of the History of Science (the IMSS) in Florence began last October at the Goppion Laboratorio Museotecnico.

The museum possesses the only original instruments belonging to Galileo and is the most important depository of objects related to the activities carried out by the scientist from Pisa, father of modern science. The architectural design project and the restoration of the exhibition areas inside Palazzo Castellani – a thirteenth-century building next to the Uffizi Galleries – have been assigned to the Studio of Guicciardini and Magni in Florence.

56 glass cases, designed by the architect Marco Magni, have been custom-built by the Goppion Laboratorio Museotecnico. The glass cases feature a high level of personalisation, both in the designer’s formal choices and due to the special requirements represented by the installation of glass cases inside such an old building. Each room in the museum is identifiable by a particular colour that is reproduced in the finishing touches of the cases, for which materials such as corian and stainless steel have been used. Furthermore, 4 examples of a special drop-front case have been built, closed by a piece of 6-metre wide glass (almost the maximum size allowed for a 12-mm thick sheet). All the components, including the large more delicate pieces, will be hoisted up and introduced into the museum from the first floor of the building: only one window overlooking the Piazza dei Giudici “will swallow” the components needed in the museum set-out, to be inaugurated in May.

Florence, IMSS – Work in Progress