L'Aquila || Italy
The 2009 earthquake deeply scarred L'Aquila, making the transformation of a 1960s apartment block an especially poignant step in the post-earthquake building recovery. The complex was partially damaged, so work was done to restore it to meet the latest anti-seismic standards, including reinforcing structural points with carbon fibre. The appearance and function were also completely overhauled, with the work focusing on the structure of the facades, the layout, and the access to the building, including a stone slab pathway and the use of plants to furnish the outside.
The basement parking area is partially visible from the exterior, forming a clear separation between this level and the main body of the building, which towers a further five floors above ground. The road is lower, so pedestrian access is via external steps up to the
main entrance on the north-west side. A glazed entrance leads to the indoor area, where the lack of internal partitions is the most notable feature on all the floors. The typical floor maintains the existing staircase in its central position on the north-west side, but gives it a new touch through an asymmetrical opening onto the floor. The restrooms, utilities and storage areas are located centrally on most floors, and then the open office space spreads out around these areas.
The most innovative aspect of the transformation is the composition of the external elevations. The four sides are not different, but have the same colour hue on the outer wall, the same windows and the same dynamic relations between the various elements that are placed with sophisticated elegance. The EIFS has large, regular geometric patterns. The insulation
layers differ in thicknesses to give the walls different depths, an effect that is enhanced through the addition of grey and beige. Then, the protruding frame windows increase the dynamic nature of the edifice. The polished stainless steel frames around the windows contrast with the use of oak for the actual window structures, emphasising the sequence of the overhangs, adding depth and creating quite a striking compositional texture. The 5th-floor ribbon windows are the one exception to this pattern. Here, the use of bleached, exposed pinewood beams adds to the already intense light that dominates the rooms.
Client: Valentini Iniziative
Gross Floor Area: 1.325 m2
Architects: Alberto Apostoli
Contractor: Emerald 75, Valentini Iniziative
Lighting: Guzzini, Goccia Illuminazione
Raised Floor: Crespi
Exterior Wall Insulation: Caparol
Air Conditioning: LG Electronics Italia
Sanitary Fittings: Ceramica Olympia
Flooring: Ceramiche Sant’Agostino
Lighting: Prisma Performance in Lighting
Photography: © Tommaso Cassinis
Alberto Apostoli was born in Verona - Italy in 1968. After studying industrial electronics, he went on to read architecture at Venice University, graduating in 1993 with a thesis on economics.
In 1997 he set up a professional and multifaceted practice, taking inspiration from his personal, academic journey.
In 2006 his first exhibition, entitled “Architetture Contaminate tra Comunicazione e Design” (ArchitectureInfluenced by Communication and Design), was held at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels, attracting the attention of the European press. Also in 2006 he opened his own practice in Guangzhou (Canton – China) followed in 2007 by a branch in Casablanca (Morocco).
In 2010 he developed the engineering division and set up Studio Apostoli & Associati. This brand offers Integrated Planning and Project Management services.
In 2012 he published his book “Architettura delle SPA” (Wellness Centers Architecture).