The workhouse by the Branchetta brothers, or today's building of the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka, was a project by Giulio Salvadore.
The construction started at the beginning of the 20th century when the Branchetta brothers, rich hat traders in Rijeka, offered a designated donation in the amount of 460000 crowns for the construction of a modern workhouse, accepted by the City representatives on 18 December 1903. Land with the surface of about 34000 m² including the surrounding area, on the location Nad Lazaretom was bought for the construction of the workhouse. The project by G. Salvadore Aria e luce (Air and Light) won on the published international tender and Carlo Pergoli managed the operational project.
The building is symmetrical, directed east-west, encompassing the ground floor with two floors and an attic. It is a combination of a corridor and pavilion model, intersected by four vertical blocks on the south side. Stone construction extends to the first floor, while the upper floors are made of brick with reinforced concrete pillars representing an early application of such constructional innovation in Rijeka. The construction works were done by Francesco Mattassi’s company from Rijeka. In its shape, the edifice seems like a well-aligned military formation despite the large window openings with grating and the wrought iron canopy and gutter brackets.
The works were finished in 1907, and in 1908, a stone slab with carved busts of the Branchetta brothers (Costantino, Giacomo and Antonio) in high relief was placed in the atrium, the work by Urban Bottasso, a Venetian painter.
It is singled out as a unique work within the Rijeka Art Nuveau, communal architecture.
The building is protected as a cultural heritage of the city of Rijeka.
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