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Reuse the Fallen Church

The team at MW Architects took time to design and submit a competition for the Reuse the Fallen Church in the Italian City of Chiesa Diruta, Grottole.
A synopsis of the design:

The fallen church currently serves as a stark symbol of the village of Grottole’s decline. In our design concept,
the process of Grottole’s gradual transformation into a modern cultural center is embodied within the form of
the concert hall itself.
To represent this transformation, we took inspiration from metamorphosis, the natural process through which
a lifeform undergoes a dramatic physical change to its form and structure. Just as a butterfly emerges from its
chrysalis and takes flight, the new concert hall structure of metal frames and glass inspired by the shape of a
butterfly’s wings– emerges from the original crumbling stone architecture of the church and reaches towards
the sky. Thus, as the visitor ascends to the top of the concert hall, the proportion of new structure to old gradually
increases, reaching a peak at the fourth floor, inside the auditorium itself.
In nature, even after the butterfly has come out it must wait for its wings to fully expand and harden before it
can take fl ight for the first time. The gently curved frames at the rear of the building represent the moments
immediately after emergence before the wings are ready. In contrast, the larger frames directly above the auditorium
represent the culmination of the process
“Just as the future performances and presentations within the auditorium will complete the ambition to reuse
the fallen church and ultimately revitalize Grottole, the wings above the auditorium taking fl ight represent the
vindication of the caterpillar’s eff orts and the successful completion of metamorphosis.

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