MC Architects win the PIDA Sisma Award

Published
17 Sept 2018

Reading
3 min


[…] In the garden of the Guevara Tower in Ischia, in front of the spectacular night scenery of the bay dominated by the Aragonese Castle, Saturday, September 15, 2018, during the third day of PIDA awards (Ischia International Prize for Architecture) was marked by the word reconstruction.

It has found its concrete and tangible translation in the presentation of the projects of the participants in the workshop “Protopia Maio”, in the reflections of the experts who animated the interesting final debate, in the story of positive experiences born elsewhere and in the passionate speech of Professor Atsushi Kitagawara, International PIDA award 2018 and coordinator of the workshop that has strongly characterized this eighth edition of PIDA, dedicated largely to the role of architecture in the rebirth of areas devastated by earthquakes.

An edition full of meetings and initiatives, which focused attention on issues of security of buildings and people and the identity of places and communities. Themes that affect everyone, not only in areas devastated by natural disasters. As stressed by the founder and president of the PIDA Association, Giovannangelo De Angelis, in his introductory greeting, in which he recalled that the need to consolidate the existing building heritage concerns the entire island and is also a topic of national reflection.

[…] The possible reconstruction, with the added value of the quality of the new, is witnessed by the interventions made by Studio Mario Cucinella Architects in the areas hit by the earthquake in Emilia in 2012. Architect Laura Mancini retraced the steps that led to the realization of what Cucinella has renamed “Pills of Beauty“, five useful buildings, able to ensure the safety of those who use them and all with a function and a strong value of social aggregation, which is an essential element to preserve identity. “Synergy and solidarity – underlined architect Mancini – have allowed the regeneration of places in Emilia”. A fundraiser was launched from the productive forces of the territory and 7.5 million euros were put together, to be invested in quality works of social importance. MC A, which operates in that area, has launched a workshop, “Building to rebuild“, in which 6 young engineers and architects, selected by more than a hundred, participated. The first action was the mapping of the places affected in the 5 earthquake-stricken provinces. In order to decide how and where to intervene, the path of participatory planning was chosen, involving citizens, recording the needs and expectations of the communities. And only at the end of this confrontation did the planning begin, which led to the construction of five structures, all delivered except for one that is nearing completion.

From the Sport and Cultural Center Bondeno, in wood and glass that has become a reference point for the population, to the Quistello Recreation Center, in reinforced concrete and glass, with a large garden, the opening of which has triggered the process of recovery of the surrounding buildings; from the Music School of Pieve di Cento, inspired by the sound box of a musical instrument, with an internal square and external spaces for community life, to the Dance School in Reggiolo, in fir wood and with a shape that resembles a woven basket; from the San Felice sul Panaro Social and Health Centre (nearing completion), which is inspired by the traditional shape of the house, made of Xlam, a highly insulating material for high energy efficiency, which will accommodate children with severe disabilities, providing ample space for public use up to the jewel of the collection, or the Guastalla School, which has been judged the most beautiful school in the world, intended for children aged 0-3 years, which inside reproduces the belly of the whale of Pinocchio and with its sinuous shapes reminiscent of the mother’s womb, all in wood and glass, with a large green educational space outside cultivated with aromatic plants. Small works of great social and also psychological impact on the populations affected by the earthquake, a demonstration that one can reconstruct “where it was, but not how it was”. That is, better.

Established this year, the PIDA Sisma Award was won by Mario Cucinella Architects for these interventions.

[…]

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