The forepart with sturdy ashlar pillars in Foresto marble is what you first encounter upon arrival at the Castle, the first sign of the unfinished Juvarra construction site, which stopped in 1734, but a sign of a far-reaching project.
Juvarra had imagined the atrium as a pivotal space between the two strictly symmetrical wings, where the scenographic elements, expression of richness and solemnity, had to be articulated, and which had to host the entrance hall, the reception rooms, the stairways large reception and party halls were provided on the upper floors.
From the atrium to the ground floor, a driveway was designed to axially cross the building from north to south, branching sideways the symmetrical entrances, highlighted by a few steps, to the monumental stairways that lead to a mezzanine floor open to the atrium itself, then to the vestibule, and finally to the large hall that develops to a height of two floors.
The part built today corresponds to a third of the project and precisely the only building that develops eastwards towards Turin, although here too the elements envisaged by Juvarra are missing.
Today, as then, this is the main side of the Castello di Rivoli, facing the Susa Valley, and again towards Savoy, to testify to the importance that this residence which it owned from 1247 to 1883 has always had for the House of Savoy.
From here, the carriages of the Court and of the guests would have had access, following the project of Filippo Juvarra, also represented thanks to the large canvases by Pannini, today in Palazzo Madama, by Michela and Lucatelli, preserved in the Royal Castle of Racconigi, the great wooden model of the Ugliengo.
Today, on the contrary, there is an open split between the imposing facade with the “rustic” shaped parts of the Castle building and those of the seventeenth-century Manica Lunga. Symbol of an abruptly suspended construction site. Bare exposed brick surfaces prepared and modeled. The atrium represents, in its incomplete form, a page of technical and construction history of great interest. Columns, pillars, arches, pilasters, niches, cornices, oculi ready to accommodate stucco decorations, statues and marble busts. On the one hand, with bricks designed to accommodate, and never will, the decorative stucco elements.
To access the Castello building, on the left the staircase in gray stone from Vaie, originally should have been in white marble from Foresto, and continue up to the upper floors, it was left in wood when the Juvarra construction site was interrupted. the side balustrades are in white Frabosa marble. The project should have been impressive and provided for two ramps, one on each side, very similar to the one, on the contrary, built and always by Juvarra of Palazzo Madama.
To evoke the second flight, which was never built, the architect Andrea Bruno who followed the restoration from 1979 to 1984 placed the large mirrored door to the left of the atrium that reflects it and evokes what should have been there and never was. been made.
The appearance of the current atrium is due precisely to the Turin architect, who in 1967 had the structures built in 1860 in adherence with the Juvarra atrium removed, on the occasion of the arrival of the 50th Infantry Brigade. These consisted of a portico supported by high masonry pillars and an upper floor, all of poor appearance. The character of imminent danger was one of the starting factors of the intervention. The false structures in wood, gypsum and gypsum built in the early 1900s were also demolished. With these dutiful demolitions, the Juvarra construction site was fixed in its condition of sudden stalemate, avoiding any completion, returning to 1734, when it was stopped, a date that is also reported on the access doors of the building, together with that of 1984, the date of reopening. and opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The intervention also involved the lowering of the walking surface with the removal of a substantial recharge to regain the original height, thus the foundations of the pillars and sections of the preparation of the floor were brought to light.
The current one is in porphyry, in profile the lines corresponding to the design of the unexecuted Juvarra structure are marked in white marble and gray stone.