Approaching the earthquake tragedy by turning ruins into new life, to perpetuate memory through constructive actions.


San Gregorio Magno L'Aquila

client: Ministero per i Beni Culturali - Commissario delegato per la Ricostruzione
status:  competition, 2012
with: Giovanni Leoni, Marco Pretelli, Andrea Ugolini
structures: Roberto Ferrari
collaborators: Alessandro Molesini, Elisa Albertini
program: rebuilding of San Gregorio Magno church demolished by earthquake


The rehabilitation of the church of San Gregorio Magno must be employed as a significant "laying of the first stone" for the reconstruction of the heart of the inhabited center, destroyed after a tragic earthquake in april of 2009. Therefore the meaning of this operation is not limited to the only re-edification of the ecclesiastic space but also the definition of the neighborhood that contributes, as coherent and homogeneous, to return a relation between the church, volumetrically similar similar to the original, and the external public spaces.

The original articulation in naves will be preserved in the insertion of the "suspended box" corresponding to the ancient central nave. Thus the space of the church will be unitary on the ground floor and only by looking at the top, you will be able to perceive the virtual division into three distinct spaces. This choice, beyond to constitute an opportunity of reinterpretation of the old lost space, allows for indirect lighting solutions, through the light that filters through the cuts between the "suspended box" and the lateral coverings, reinterpreting in a contemporary key the baroque chromatic relations as well as lights interplay.

The "old" orderes the "new" also when, as in the case of performing permanet walls that are existing, it can’t perform any other function beyond that of historical evidence. The intervention wants as well to represent a new stratification which layers on top of what exhisted before, enriching the place with a new witness which is connected thanks to its internal coherence, completing and payinghommage to the discontinuity of the ancient.