A conservationist body with a keen eye on Italy’s heritage sites has voiced concern over architect David Chipperfield’s design for the University Hospital of Santa Chiara, in Pisa.

Art Watch Italia says the construction, which will see the hospital dismantled and redeveloped and the surrounding area enhanced, will disfigure the medieval heart of the city, according the UK’s Times Online.

The group says that Chipperfield’s project puts local landmarks, including the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, at risk.

The project will also stand alongside the Duomo Cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage site and the Field of Miracles.

The group claim Chipperfield’s design, chosen out of a short list of ten projects, incorporates a busy road that would dissect the Pisa’s botanical gardens (believed to be the oldest in Europe) and change the look of the city altogether.

Turin University’s head of planning, Professor Carl Olmo, has argued Chipperfield’s design was the least disruptive presented while the architect himself earlier talked of careful planning around the design of the piazza (the Field of Miracles) and surrounding buildings.

By staff writer