A balanced reconstruction project that inserts new life and functions into the urban fabric of the old town hit by earthquake.


Parish Centre Reggiolo

location: Reggiolo, Italy
client: Reggio Emilia Guastalla Diocese
status: 2016, invited competition
collaborators: Manuela Senese, Alessandro Molesini, Benedetta Braglia, Chiara Gandolfi
program: Parish center and public spaces


The building of a community implies a Domus, a house in which christian pilgrims live, a house intended as shelter on one side and as spiritual house on the other. A "non-definitive" house because Christian pilgrims know very well that the true homeland is the heavenly one ("Our house is in heaven" Phil. 3:20) and precisely in this Christianity, in this eschatological vision of life, is placed the parish and his house: simple and welcoming.

That also becomes a school; place of teaching and education for students and pupils, place of philosophical and scientific discussions during free time (school from the Greek "sholéion" or "free time"), school that therefore empowers and promotes the great gift of life. To the house, to the school, a courtyard belongs, an open space inside the house, therefore more reserved than a green space outside the structure. This places the courtyard halfway between the domus and "the world", "the square". The courtyard is metaphorical place of the threshold, of the "inside but not yet", in which there are numerous occasions for exchange, meeting, contamination with absolute positive exception of the terms. However, the courtyard is a preamble to the true entry into the parish community. In the courtyard the faithful is called to pass, to stop feeling protected and then "enter through the door". Jesus himself speaks of this in chapter 10 of the Gospel of John: "I tell you, he who does not enter the enclosure of the sheep by the door, but goes up to another place, is a thief and a brigand" (John 10,1) where the term aulè ("enclosure, courtyard, sheepfold") could also indicate the courtyard of the temple; in reference to the sheep, the enclosure / courtyard indicates the place where the flock is collected and kept safe, safe from wild beasts.

Finally, the evangelizing mission of the parish, which recalls the strong warning of Jesus to the Apostles "Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mk 16, 15) and clearly indicate the principal mandate of the parish and of the Church itself. The term evangelize has a very rich meaning. Among the many, we extrapolate that most inherent the specific design theme that leads us to think of evangelization not only through the teaching of a doctrine but to "accomplish it" through words and actions that presuppose a structure capable of welcoming, of "making possible " the action. Here is the parish center, a sum of home, school, courtyard and evangelizing work.