The new Uffizi

The wish to modernize the Museum and reorganize its spaces, without limitation to solely a new set up, was a firm idea in Florence that began during the immediate post-war period, specifically as of 1965, through the project "Grandi Uffizi".

The flood of 1966 put a stop to this project and changed the priorities of the intervention, which necessarily became one of preservation and restoration.

Over time, other interventions took place, such as the building of a second staircase by readapting a previous one; also, in the Eighties, the new entrance on Piazza Castellani was introduced. This was considered the first step of the "Grandi Uffizi" project, due to the heavy increase in the number of visitors.

The project was revised and perfected, taking on the name of the "New Uffizi".

In 1995, after four years of work, a special commission issued a declaration, in which the philosophy of the new set up took form and was based on the wish to bear witness to the historic character of a gallery as a testimony of the Medicean collection on the second floor, and a second gallery on the first floor, representing another artistic period.

The project was completed in 2004 and underwent changes in 2009, due mainly to the enactment of new anti-seismic regulations.

The main intervention was the recovery of the spaces on the first floor of the so-called west corridor, which allowed for a connection between the second and first floor and the opening of a multitude of new rooms dedicated to foreign schools and inaugurated in June 2013.

New spaces have also been dedicated to services, such as the Photography Department, storerooms, new offices, new sanitary facilities, a new reception area and an enlargement of the bookshop.

The works are, of course, in progress and the project provides for more than double the exhibition capacity, increasing from 5,400 to 12,000 square metres of surface area, thus enabling the museum to increase the number of daily visitors from 4000 to 8000.

The first problem encountered to achieve this goal was the lack of vertical connections between the first and second floors, solved by creating two new blocks of staircases and lifts.

The Western Stairs and Eastern Stairs were created, thus allowing not only for an increase in the visitor capacity of the museum, but also the possibility to renovate the route through the exhibition. This solution provides for the ascent to the Gallery on the second floor, transit from the three corridors to the entire west side, descent to the first floor and the opposite route to the east side and final descent to the ground floor. Remaining unchanged is the entrance from Piazzale degli Uffizi and the exit onto Piazza del Grano.

Of note is that, by wish of the curators and despite the volume and complexity of the interventions, the Gallery was never closed, but remained open to visitors, although with occasional necessary limitations.

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