The emergency of the reconstruction of the City Hall leads a project totally oriented towards reversible and sustainable building systems.


Novi Temporary Town Hall

location: Novi di Modena (MO)
client: Regione Emilia Romagna
status: winner contract competition, 2012, built.
with: CMB, Politecnica scarl 
collaborators: Alessandro Molesini, Daniela Conti, Matteo Gabbi, Irene Torreggiani, Enrico Bergamini
consultant: Matteo Agnoletto (MAA)
program: EMT temporary municipal building after heartquake
photos: Alessandra Chemollo


A temporary building was realized to replace the old municipal town hall offices, badly damaged by a tragic earthquake in May 2012, thus inaccessible. Due to the position and minimum distances given by regulations, we thought of a compact two stories volume, able to condense functionality and best efficiency for services. Even though the project is a response to an emergency situation, its life span had to be of around 50 years durability, so we opted for an architectonic solution trying to overcome the temporary character typical of emergency-related structures.

The building pivots around a central courtyard, fundamental element of the building which organizes disposition of services around it. It conceived both as circulation and as a welcoming meeting place for citizens, in order to mediate their passage between exterior and interior spaces of the building, and has an important function in bringing light to the inner side of offices. This is the space that embodies the democratic institution and the public character of the building.

Construction easiness and rapidity was of crucial importance: this building had to bring back services but also an emotional motivation to the local community, highly affected by the tragedy of the earthquake. Due to this reason, wet construction method were discarded in favor of dry, ready-to-use systems, avoiding problems of drying and maturation of materials. Preference was given to materials that could accomplish different functions at the same time: structural capacity, acoustic dissipation, fire resistance, finishings, and so on. In addition to the choice of materials, prefabrication was adopted in order to decrease the number of working phases and improve transport during the quick building site; eventually, a series of few and flexible details and elements were developed to reduce production costs.