The new Poggio Picenze multi-age community center was born to replace the old structure used for social gatherings, located in the historic center, which was made unusable by the earthquake of April 6, 2009. A number of associations responded to the appeal from the administration, including the Associazione Nazionale Cantanti, the group La Provincia Editoriale and the Salvadanaio per l’Abruzzo. The construction company, the supplier firms and the designers are working to reduce their fees. After a first draft of the project, which included the location of the building on the concrete pitch in the city park, in 2011 the city council relocated the community center site to a neighboring sports area, where it replaced the earthquake logistics coordination camp.
The design intent of the new complex is to revise the project “Grande Cretto” by Burri, built in Gibellina between 1985 and 1989, following the earthquake of Belice (1968) and using white concrete as the main material. The new center maintains many of the characteristics of the previous project, but it also wants to convey new ones. The desire of creating a building that respects the landscape of Abruzzo, is combined with the value of memory. In 2011, two years after the earthquake, during which time Italian civil society gradually forgot what had happened in Abruzzo, the zig-zag volumes evoke imaginary cracks, in remembrance of the earthquake. At the same time, because the building is covered in wood and in green, the project aims to highlight the positive value of nature, inspiring among its users a renewed confidence in nature and in mankind. Children and the elderly gather together in a building integrated into the greenery, giving them the chance to nourish new hope for the future. The roof is covered with grass plots, and the façades are also green thanks to a series of colored wires that serve as the structure for climbing vines, which are taken care of by the center’s users.
Landscape of Abruzzo
Northeast & Southwest Elevations
Southeast & Southwest Pergola
The community center has a capacity of about 130 people, serving both the town of Poggio Picenze and the neighboring villages. The center is a single-story building and covers about 240 square meters (internal net surface). It contains an entrance hall, two multi-purpose rooms, the library with Internet stations, and one music room, in addition to services, a store room and both open and covered spaces. Externally, the walls are clad with natural larch wood, the same wood that is used for the doors and windows. The main closed volume is flanked by two other open buildings for parking four-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles. These parking structures are made of steel and cladded with larch wood-boards, which are also covered with colored wires to support climbing vines.