Following the 2012 earthquake that struck Emilia Romagna a competition was announce to rebuild a destroyed school gymnasium in Massa Finalese.

The site, which is located in the north-east side of a school park, is the border between the urban area and the country side, suggesting the new building to be the new “connecting tool” between these two realities. The main focus is to create a structure able to soften the urban/country “boundary” and to characterize the whole of the school park as well:

A new identity blooms through contemporary design contributing itself towards a new local architectural language for the post-earthquake restart. From the ruins of the destruction the new gymnasium is born: a landmark where the new generations can train and confront themselves and lay the foundations for a better future. The building is extremely simple: a pure volume, almost monolithic with a single big opening that allows the view towards the cultivated fields from the spectators’ seats and from the playing field. The ancillary spaces, extremely introspective, look out onto a tree-lined patio. The natural elements are the main actors and playing their part in the gymnasium: trees are hugged by the building and become the backdrop of the interior spaces while the cultivated fields, just like a painting, are the scenery of the playing field.

The problematic social conditions determined by the dramatic effects caused by the earthquake, and the demands of the competition which required fast construction time and a very low construction cost, have decisively influenced the design choices: a particularly dry construction technology is chosen in order to build up the whole building in only 5 months with a low construction cost while ensuring the achievement of high energy performance.


Project card:
Architects: MIDE architetti - Paolo Didonè
Structural Engineers: Beniamino Didonè - Bruno Gonzato
Electrical Systems: Studio Gasparotto
Mechanical Systems: Riccardo Baggio
Fire Safety: Maurizio Sonda
Location: Massa Finalese (MO) - Italy
Latitude: 44°51'11.52"N
Longitude: 11°12'56.35"E
Client: Regione Emilia-Romagna
Sole responsible of the proceedings: Manuela Manenti
Director of works: Paolo Ligori
Construction Safety Manager: Antonio D’Auria
General Contractor: Fiorese srl
Timeline: 02/2013 Competition, 03/2013 Awarded, 07/2013 Commencement of works,
12/2013 Inauguration
Gross area of the project: 1.725 mq
Cost: 1.366 270,31 €
Photography: Alessandra Bello
Prize/exposition: Special Prize Dedalo Minosse 2014