helena westerlind
Diploma 7
Action House (!)

L’Aquila, Italy

Action House is a re-appropriation of a currently inaccessible theatre in the Italian city of L’Aquila due to damage in an earthquake in 2009. Action House stands for social and political action and is a place for meetings, debate, culture and pure entertainment. It is the base for 3e32, a social organisation that was formed the day after the earthquake. By installing an integrated structural metal mesh system it enables inhabitation in the damaged building during the transitional period that L’Aquila still finds itself in because no reconstruction has yet been initiated. The para-seismic expanded metal mesh structure creates an offset enclosure within the existing building envelope and the transparent quality of the material blurs the experience of the old theatre spaces with the new re-occupation of the building.

It is not only an expression against physical destruction but also against the social collapse that still persists as a result of the enforced abandonment of the city centre. It is a spatial form of resistance and a project by the people that sprung from an urgent need for a more open debate and transparency regarding the reconstruction and it is dedicated to communicate and process the will of the people.