Re-thinking Re-construction New Design Strategies for the Reconstruction after Natural Disasters. A Local Research Experience for a Global Topic


The paper presents the ongoing results of a design research carried out at the School ofArchitectureandDesign” EduardoVittoria”of Ascoli Piceno(SAAD)of the university of Camerino. Thespecificobjectiveoftheresearchistodevelopaninnovativeandreplicabledesign methodology, and to experiment new design strategies devoted to the sustainable, compatible and innovative-construction after natural disasters in rural areas and low-density urban systems. The research is based on a “local-to-global” approach: it refers to Italy as a case study but it aims to achieve general results applicable in different geographical contexts. Thespecificcasestudyrelatestotheearthquakethatin2016/2017affectedasignificant area of Central Italy and that strongly hit a large part of the so called “Italian village system”, i.e. a peculiar environmental and productive urban system that is still now in real emergency. As in most of the international reconstruction experiences, this reconstruction will certainly require along process which,still today,is full of unknowns. The massive damage caused by this disastrous event, the constraints imposed by regulations and the need for and adaptation of the buildings stock to the current housing standards, exclude the possibility of applying design strategies focused on a “where it was/as it was” model. This awareness, which increases the uncertainty about the future of the ”earthquake” communities, requires an innovative approach in relation to apparently incompatible aspects: the preservation of the identity of lost places and the upgrade of building performance often explicitly required by the population and however connected to a new housing demand. In relation to worldwide territories with a high level of disaster risk, this scenario can nowadays be considered a global issue which concerns both cultural and technical aspects. The design methodology pursued is based on a scientific approach to re-construction that focuses on a “systemic” and “design to build” approach that concerns also productive and technological aspects in relation to purposes of low-cost performance, constructive simplicity, cost-effectiveness of the interventions. This approach aims also at the introduction of the lightweight building system in contexts of traditional and massive construction, according to an idea of a construction site as an “assembly point” of prefabricated parts, light and modular, with a controlled life-cycle.

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