tomas pohnetal
Diploma 7

The immediate relief after the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila was concentrated on providing emergency accommodation. Later the population was gradually settled in new neighborhoods built around the town.

While this relief was successful at providing housing for the people, the following long term relief is being awaited now. The question of preserving the town’s history, origin and culture is still open.

The 99 churches of L’Aquila were the founding stones of the town. Apart from being the most historical buildings, the churches were cultural centers, which provided sanctuary for people and safe locations for the church treasures and relicts. Because of their importance, the churches are painstakingly restored after every earthquake.

This project takes as its brief the requirements to provide safe locations in an earthquake zone by saving the cultural heritage of L’Aquila and its surviving fragments.

Throughout the city, the surviving churches are taken as a catalyst for the multi central reconstruction of the town which will provide a safe place for further restoration and reconstruction works along with a network that will allow gradual re-inhabitation of the town.

New foundations are inserted under the churches to provide a permanent seismic protection. While the spaces gained by excavation are converted into secure, usable spaces.

These safe guarded locations provide places of cultural spots and centers of renewal of the town and its inhabitants.

On a local scale the safe zone offers a place to deposit the historical fragments of the city. An archive is located below one of the churches. It gives well protected storage and exhibition space together with spaces for study and restoration.