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Redundant churches: a toolkit for a strategy of reuse

Lucia Miglietta

Redundant churches: a toolkit for a strategy of reuse.

Rel. Matteo Robiglio, Andrea Longhi, Laura Galluzzo, Lucia Baima. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Progetto Sostenibile, 2019

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Western Europe, the cradle of Protestantism and historically the seat of Catholicism, has become one of the most secular regions in the world. This is the clear manifestation of a process that a lot of scientists and researchers call "secularism", that has interested mostly European countries. The phenomenon of secularization has crucial territorial and spatial effects: the church buildings, that are distributed throughout the territory, are being closed, as they are underused; in some cases, they are declared redundant; sometimes they even come to be demolished. The master thesis explores how European states address redundancy issues; it investigates different national conditions and it examines if there are peculiar policy plans to be studied. Between all the other countries, Italy stands out. The second part of the work analyses the Italian context: religious infrastructure characterizes our peninsula in a way that has no equal in the rest of Europe. Indeed, Christian architecture has produced a complicated architectural religious tradition, which represents an essential part of the Italian built environment and cultural heritage. Italy seemed to be going through a period of transition, but numerous interconnected factors are leading to a real catastrophe. Over the decades, the relation between the decreasing number of Christians, the decreasing number of Priests and the constant number of church buildings will become unmanageable. The third section of the thesis has the aim of presenting adaptive reuse as a strategy to face the problem. A church, after having lost the dedication to worship, becomes a new building, a container; it becomes what M. Baum and K. Christiaanse would define "loft": adaptable, flexible, and at the same time powerful spaces with identity in which people can live and work. Therefore, a set of reuse steps is proposed: the intervention classes accept various stages of reuse; from the extreme situation that involves the demolition of the building, to its total re-use and operation. Indeed, because of the size of the problem, it is not possible to imagine that all the churches will be completely reused. The different steps disregard the function that the church will host at the end of the transformation process; on the contrary, they depend on the performance that the building requires. The performances are accomplished based on specific solutions that the building can receive, concerning different design problems. Consequently, it has been necessary to investigate the design issues of a church building, as well as to assert its potential. Based on the abovementioned considerations, a critical review of existing solutions has been conducted. The analysis of different case studies allows to understand how some practical design issues have been solved. At the same time, one of the main parameters to be considered is that one of Economic Effort, that each project required to reach its completeness. A comparison matrix gives the possibility to understand which strategies have been adopted to solve specific problems. In conclusion, thanks to the lessons learned, a toolkit for a strategy of reuse for redundant churches is proposed. At the end of the thesis, an Annexure is presented: it is an appendix with the legal and fiscal framework of the Italian context. It sums up the most important laws and rules concerning the dismission process. Therefore, it must always be brought along.

Relators: Matteo Robiglio, Andrea Longhi, Laura Galluzzo, Lucia Baima
Academic year: 2019/20
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 89
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Progetto Sostenibile
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: Politecnico di Torino - FULL
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/13277
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