Fabrica of Annunziata from Church to Museum - The reuse topic in architecture is nowadays pivotal. It is an opportunity to overlay, ideally, lots of stories, reading, and traces of time that are particularly hold dear. The project for the reuse of the former Church of Annunziata deals with issues of memory, of ruin and of transformation. While if you are in front of such a great work, as an unfinished architecture of 700, the action will be (is) micro-injections, like acupuncture in order to restore the work by giving it, at the same time, new life and energy. The issue of sustainability concerns the reuse in the historic centers of existing buildings through a new use and a new life. An abandoned cultural heritage, maybe never finished or never used for the purpose it was conceived, can have a new life. Sustainable is restoring the building,
reconverting it within the city with a new urban role, the retrofitting of the fabrica through system solutions that combine the needs of the new use with the need to save energy and maintenance. The building of the former Church of the Annunziata in Foligno had never lived until its current reuse project in the role of Museum of Contemporary Art. The Church, designed in 1765 by the architect Murena, was never completed, and it underwent many improper uses up to its complete abandonment and decay caused by both the incredible demolition of a wing of the church in 1980 and by the 1997 earthquake. The site plan calls for an excavated architecture, consisting of a main elongated hall, topped by a large brick dome and an irregularly shaped ring walk which surrounds the hall, affording a range of views onto the main hall and the dome. It presents
itself as an 18th-century “work site” which relates its reminiscences, the construction techniques of its age, and the spatial layout of the original structure. The reuse and transformation project of this former Church as a Museum, as yet unfinished, attempts to exploit the full potential of this space. The introduction of new elements, able to give new life and meaning to the Fabrica, becomes functional with this idea, solving both the structural problems of the building with the need to repair it and make it earthquake-proof, and to change its function into that of a new Museum. A new volume reinterprets the original form of the Church, thus completing the first-floor ring walk, with a role of completion of the brickwork shell. Made of a metal structure, it is supported on steel rafters and sheathed with corten steel, pierced with an irregular design that reinterprets the brick pattern in a contemporary light and, in thus dematerializing the looming walls, creates an intriguing play of light. The new volume during the nighttime hours becomes a real “magic lantern”, a signal that heralds the news of its rebirth to the city of Foligno. Other elements too contribute to make this new life possible, elements necessary for static improvement but that also serve as inserts of contemporary architecture: a new iron dome to strengthen and support the original one; iron sections that support all the ring-walk apertures onto the main hall; iron and wooden trusses replacing the previous ellipsoid ones for the hall; a walkway that, connecting on the first floor the two parts of the building, becomes an element of integration between the old and the new, a vantage point from which to observe the entire space and the imposing sculpture “Calamità Cosmica” by De Dominicis, which occupies the main hall. Guendalina Salimei is the principal of T- studio office in Rome. Tstudio takes part and wins major competitions for public projects and design awards both in Italy and abroad. Among them, project of reuse of Annunziata church to Contemporary art museum in Foligno, redevelopment of Naples’ monumental port area, school complex Mazzacurati in Rome, new head office of lawyer’s chambers, social housing building at Bembo st. and renovation of Corviale building in Rome, new multifunctional building for port activities in Taranto, redevelopment of Bari city centre, waterfront in Corigliano Calabro, sustainable neighbourhood of Vydrica in Bratislava, a multifunctional building and Dao Viet eco city in Vietnam. The research activities focus on the investigation of the complex relationships between the design methodology and ways of intervention in built and natural environment. Projects and designs have been published on various Italian and international magazines and exposed in cities worldwide.