The Vasari Corridor – Virtual Tour above Florence

Fancy a stroll in a secret 760m long corridor?

What about spying people from above?

Want to have a peek at one the most beautiful cities in the world?

If you have a spare minute, here’s your chance to do all of it, exactly from where you are:

What is the Vasari Corridor?

The Vasari Corridor is a “secret” elevated enclosed footpath in the historic heart of Florence, Italy. It’s 760m long. It connects Palazzo Vecchio passing through the Uffizi Gallery over Ponte Vecchio and ends at the Boboli Gardens and Palazzo Pitti. Built in 1564 by Giorgio Vasari in only five months, the passageway was commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici to celebrate the wedding of his son Francesco I and Joanna of Austria.

View from the Corridor. Photo by Press Office of Opera Laboratori Fiorentini for the Gallerie degli Uffizi.
View from the Corridor. Photo by Press Office of Opera Laboratori Fiorentini for the Gallerie degli Uffizi.

The corridor in the past….

The corridor had two main practical uses, as it allowed the aristocracy:

  • to have a stroll in the city center without having to walk through the busy streets and
  • to be free to spy people below.

Few years after the building of the passageway, the Grand Duke ordered to move the below historic meat market from Ponte Vecchio to another part of the city. He couldn’t stand the unpleasant smells on his walk. Therefore in 1593 new jewellers replaced the butchers’ shops along the bridge and they are still there today.

The Vasari Corridor over Ponte Vecchio and view on the Arno river. Photo by Press Office of Opera Laboratori Fiorentini for the Gallerie degli Uffizi.
The Vasari Corridor over Ponte Vecchio and view on the Arno river. Photo by Press Office of Opera Laboratori Fiorentini for the Gallerie degli Uffizi.

Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini also used the corridor as a safe route during their visit to Florence in 1939. For this event, Mussolini required to enlarge the series of panoramic windows on Ponte Vecchio to provide panoramic views of the river.

View from the Vasari Corridor onto Ponte Vecchio and Arno River. By Press Office of Opera Laboratori Fiorentini for the Gallerie degli Uffizi.
View from the Vasari Corridor onto Ponte Vecchio and Arno River. Photo by Press Office of Opera Laboratori Fiorentini for the Gallerie degli Uffizi.

The corridor in the future….

The Vasari corridor displays magnificent works of art and offers stunning views of the city center and the Arno river from unique view points. It is currently closed for renovation, but it will open to the public in 2021 as per the plan of Eike Schmidt, The Uffizi director, who wants to abandon the “privileged” access system and promote the “democratic opening” of the passageway to the general public.


More info on the topic avaible at:


Raising the Bar Awards 2019 – Winners

Great evening yesterday at the Raising the Bar Awards in Leeds! The social responsibility aims of many businesses was recognised and celebrated.

ROSSO MATTO Architecture was the winner of the Small Business Community Award.

We’re really delighted, proud and grateful to the WNY Chamber for this award. Congratulations to all winners and finalists! 😊

Raising the Bar Awards 2019 – Finalists

We are delighted and proud of being one of the finalists of the Raising the Bar Award for Community.

Raising the Bar is an initiative from the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce that helps companies with their social responsibility aims. It enables companies to document and benchmark how they help local communities, education, the economy and the environment.

Join us to find who the winner are!

Wednesday 6th November 2019
6pm – 8.30pm
Leeds Civic Hall 

VR, the game changer in architecture visualization

Virtual Reality (VR) is the game-changer in architecture visualization. It’s the innovative tool architects should use to most effectively communicate their design before building it.

VR the game changer in architecture visualization

VR allows you to create virtual environments and therefore experience them as you’re really in them. By wearing a particular headset, you are immersed right away in a 3D environment. You have the exact spatial awareness of the place you’re going to built. And that’s an incredibly powerful experience for both the designers and the clients. The designers can check their own projects and design, and so correct possible mistakes. The clients get a better understanding and feeling of what can be sometimes difficult to visualise.

In the video below, David Leonard of Leonard Design explains how architects and designers can benefit from including VR in their design process.

In conclusion, there’s no doubt that creating VR-ready 360° content is now a worthwhile investment and that professionals in the construction industry will considerably benefit from using this technology. ROSSO MATTO considers VR the game changer in architecture visualization and regularly creates VR-ready 360° videos.

Do you use VR in your design process?

3D Modelling in bridges’ renovations save lives and the environment

“London Bridge Is Falling Down” is one the most popular traditional English nursery songs. World-wide there are different versions, but the core vision is pretty much the same. No matter the material of which it’s built, over time the bridge looses its load-carrying capacity and eventually falls down.

Kids sing the lyrics lightheartedly as collapsing is the natural innocuous way a bridge ends. But what the composition really describes is one if the worst structural failure you’d prefer not to see. The song actually omits to mention the tragic consequences the falling of a bridge can have.

The Polcevera Viaduct

The Morandi Bridge (officially Polcevera Viaduct) in Italy sadly reminded them to the world last summer.

3D Modelling saves lives
The Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy – Photo by Michele Ferraris, 19 August 2018 – CC BY-SA 4.0

Built between 1963 and 1967, the bridge linked two districts of the city of Genoa and crossed the river Polcevera. It became famous in August 2018 when it partially collapsed, killing 43 people who were crossing it. The continuous restoration works carried out since the 1970s were not sufficient to prevent the tragic event.

What’s most worrying and shameful is that it was not an isolated case for the country. The newspaper Corriere della Sera reported it was the 11th bridge to fall down in Italy since 2013. [1]

Bridges are highly stressed structures and on the long run they suffer from fatigue and pressure. This doesn’t mean that they cannot be restored and their life extended. 3D modelling can save lives and the environment. It can be a pivotal tool to verify bridges’ current operational safety and upgrade them.

Arup’s Bridge Information Model

The Arup’s Bridge Information Model (BrIM) is a great example of this application.

The 3D models help the working team to visualise advanced calculations, and enable advanced static and fatigue modelling under different scenarios. The expertise and knowledge acquired during the ongoing bridge renovation programme is then used to design new bridges. [2]

Arup, in collaboration with RHDHV and Greisch, has developed a sustainable remediation programme to extend bridges’ life for at least 30 years. Based on digital design, it will allow the refurbishment of eight of the 200 bridges in the Netherlands risking collapse. In the video below Arup explains in details their approach and how 3D models were used to find the most effective solutions.

To sum up, 3D Modelling can really save lives and the environment. It’s also a powerful tool to reduce design related delay costs in construction.

Do you know other examples of 3D models and animations that explain complex structural issues in such an easy way?



[1] “Dieci i ponti crollati in 5 anni: in calo la manutenzione e gli investimenti”. Corriere della Sera. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.


How to include the 4 pillars of sustainability in architectural project

sustainability in architecture

Sustainability in architectural projects is a hot trend. We are all familiar with the concept of sustainability as a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level over a period of time, causing little or no damage to the environment.

The Brundtland Commission described sustainable development as development that

“meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” [1]

The UK Government in the Annual Report 2000, January 2001, declared that:

Maintaining high and stable levels of economic growth is one of the key objectives of sustainable development. Abandoning economic growth is not an option. But sustainable development is more than just economic growth. The quality of growth matters as well as the quantity.”

The above mentioned definitions focus mainly on the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability. But there are other two pillars fundamental to sustainability: the human and social factors.

Human sustainability means maintaining human capital, which is composed by ‘the health, education, skills, knowledge, leadership and access to services’. [2]

Social sustainability means maintaining social capital, which is investments and services that create the basic supporting structure for society. [2]

Is it possible to include the 4 pillars of sustainability in architectural projects?

It surely is, regardless the size of the scheme! The video below shows a great example of how a small timber modular home was designed having in mind keeping a family together, enhancing multi-generational living and sharing responsibilities and costs.

Do you include the 4 pillars of sustainability in your architectural projects?



[1] United Nations. 1987. “Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development.” General Assembly Resolution 42/187, 11 December 1987.

[2] Goodland, Robert. “The Concept of Environmental Sustainability.” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 26 (1995): 1-24.

VR-ready 360° videos content in architecture: a worthwhile investment

360° videos

360° videos are becoming more and more popular and as a result they will be increasingly used in architecture. They are an attractive and immersive type of video which let the viewers move around the space you created, allowing them to control what they see.

The ability of the viewer to change perspective comes from computer games. It spread through the invention of Virtual Reality headsets like Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard.

360° videos encourage engagement. Most importantly, clients seem to respond better to your design when they have an interactive experience. They feel like being in the project.

70% of marketers who have used 360° videos say it has increased engagement for them: they saw over 3 times the conversion rate of traditional video content and a 30% higher repeated view rate. (Source:

Likewise the same can happen for architects and designers.

In short, there’s no doubt that creating VR-ready 360° content is now a worthwhile investment. Certainly professionals in the construction industry will considerably benefit from using this technology.

How many projects have you discussed with your clients using a 360° video?

Want to find out more about why it’s a good idea to use video to promote your projects?

Have a look at Why You Should Show and Promote Your Architectural Projects as Videos.

Notre Dame – Vive la reconstruction!

Notre Dame

On 15 April 2019, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, in Paris, was severely damaged by a fire that was extinguished after 15 hours. As consequence the cathedral’s wood-and-lead spire and the roof were destroyed, together with several works of art. However the stone vaulted ceiling below the roof saved great part of the interior, by preventing the fire to spread too extensively.

While it took 181 years (1163-1344) to build the Cathedral, we almost lost it in less than one day. Notre-Dame is the symbol of Paris and this event shocked France and the entire world.

The French President Emmanuel Macron promised that

Notre Dame will be rebuilt in five years, more beautiful than before

and the fundraising campaign in support of this raised €800 million in just 24 hours.

Can we really reconstruct the Cathedral in just 5 years?

There’s a chance we can make it through a forefront imaging technology. The art historian Andrew Tallon was very passionate about Notre Dame. He did a full laser scan of the building with the assistance of his colleague Paul Blaer.  

Tallon and Blaer’s laser data consist of 1 billion data points, which create a very accurate 3-D model.  Therefore we now have a full digital detailed re-creation of the building that we can use as base to start the reconstruction. In the video below, Tallon explains how they created the 3D model.


Cutting-edge technologies are changing the way we design and build.

Which one are you using?