top of page

Chiesa Diruta : Reuse the Fallen Church

“Ruins are stimuli allowing our minds to journey towards the indefinite, the distant, and the remote to satisfy the aspiration for the infinite, for something that disappears in distant tine or space whose measure is dissipated. They allow us to transcend time and space. The ruins possess the power for accepting change. The virtue of ruins is in their enigma.”


The whole idea revolves around creating a porous insert within the precinct of the ruins that does not overpower the elegance of Roman Architecture but sits in a charismatic manner enhancing the power of the old ruin. The building block designed thus hosts the functions proposed without interfering with the exiting. The idea was to mould our structure in the form of the existing context so that the memories of the ruins stay unimpaired.  A cubic grid built from the interplay of diverse wooden overlapping members forms the entirety of the porous skin.

While the stage sits underneath the oculus of the church and seating sits inside the nave with access through the existing void. The flexible and retractable seating which could be movable as per the users' need and mood of the theatre and also could fit inside the arches and open up the whole space creates an adaptable space. The transepts are also used to create seating spaces for the users. The seating is composed of two pieces, one lighter made up of wood and metal mesh on top (base layer of the seating) while the other is made up of charred metal.  The interior skin is made up of diverse wooden lattice forming a cubic grid, designed to respond to different events made with both vernacular material and modern tectonic expressions adding warmth and elegance. The retractable roof allows the space to be used not only as a concert hall but also as an open-air theatre. The concerts can have a natural existing backdrop with customized fabric as the events require between the main stage & the back-stage.


The bar and the washrooms are placed adjacent to the seating for ease of access. The admin, box-office & gift shops are placed at the lower level plaza near the parking for immediate access to the public. A public gathering space is designed near the reception while the musicians/performers have a separate entrance to the green room through various changing rooms. To create an awareness of the existing historical structures the tower was completed, which now acts as an element that concludes the ruin and serves the purpose of attaining a visual connection with the rest of the historical structures around the context. The tower could easily be accessed by the users through the bar area leading them up to the tower. 


With time, as a building loses its integrity and functionality, it proceeds to release a charge that we describe as poetic. It continues to evoke our emotions and sentiments, however distinct from those that were formerly aroused. We continue to appreciate in ruins, even if in disrepair, a vulnerable set of relationships. Even though the missing parts affect the music's completeness and harmony we perceive the pathetic conditions that render the building almost part of nature, almost geography. Through all these concepts and elements, the project aims at maintaining the originality and integrity of the ruin.

chiesa diruta: reuse the fallen church  | typology: adaptive restoration | date: march 2021 | location: italy | team: ashish dalal, antorip choudhury, harin naik, harit naik | international design competition: participation| client: reuse italy |

bottom of page