Le Dimore del Quartetto

CASTELLO MACKENZIE, GENOVA

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Castello Mackenzie was built between 1893 and 1905 by the young and Florence architect Gino Coppedè on commission of the Scottish insurer Evan Mackenzie. The castle was inhabited by the Mackenzie family for 27 years. Four years after Evan’s death, in 1935, her daughter Isa sold it to a real estate company. During World War II, it was occupied by the German Army and then by the Allies, while in the 1950s it became the headquarters of the Carabineers Army. In 1956, it was declared national monument, recognition to the famous Coppedé style. After the moving out of the Carabineers, in the 1960s and 1970s, it became the headquarters of various activities and of a gymnastics association. In this period its degradation increased with tempering of its original structures and theft of the furnishing. In 1986, the castle was purchased by the American patron Mitchell Wolfson Jr. to host his collection of 20th century objects and art works and to open it as a museum.  In June 2002, the structure was purchased by the Auction House Cambi.  While building the castle, the works of the Coppedé family workshop had great importance as for the boiseries and the numerous coffered ceiling in the 16th century style. The most interesting rooms are the honour entrance-hall, accessible from via Cabella, the library and the Chapel, on the first floor in an external room. The entrance-hall is, with no doubt, the most articulated room of the castle.  On the walls it is possible to admire the rests of the historical wash drawings by Carlo Coppedè, representing the Mackenzie family. The library, on two floors hosted the wide Mackenzie collection. The Chapel, in gothic style, hosts some of the most beautiful works by Castello such as the pipe organ, two copies from Beato Angelico (Annunciation and Resurrection), wooden seats manufactured by Coppedè’s family “La Casa Artistica” and windows in the Della Robbia style. Divided on four floors plus the foundations and the grottoes, the castle has 85 rooms, a surface of 4000 square metres and a volume of 16000 cubic metres.