A remnant of Turin's past, the massive Lingotto Fiere is a former industrial plant turned into a multi-function centre as part of a project by Renzo Piano. It hosts a congress centre, an auditorium, the Agnelli Collection and many shops.
When it was built in the 1920s, prior to becoming Turin's Lingotto Fiere, the structure was an example of modern industrial architecture, modelled on the needs of Fordist car manufacturing. It was home to most of Fiat's production and it used to be called "a document of urban planning" by Le Corbusier.
From the outside, hardly anything has changed - big windows and massive cement pillars frame the Lingotto Fiere façade, but the inside carries no memories of presses and machines. The cherry tree-panelled auditorium boasts perfect acoustics and can vary in size according to need. The exhibition hall, one of the most important in the country, hosts such events as the National Book Fair and the Taste Fair, while the arcades, made out of the old storage courtyard, are home to shops and restaurants.
The Giovanni and Marella Agnelli Gallery, also called the Casket, was presented to the city of Turin in 2003 by Mr Agnelli, the heir of the family who founded the Fiat company and owned the plant. The Casket, which features 25 paintings from Mr Agnelli's private collection, Canaletto, Picasso and Balla, lies on the Lingotto Fiere rooftop near the panoramic track once used to test cars.
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