dave edwards design (DeD) studio reveals its proposal for the restoration of the ‘chiesa diruta’ cathedral in southern italy and its transformation into a concert hall. deeply influenced by the ornamental ‘baldacchino’ elements found in italian temples, the intervention generates a distinctive perforated structure providing the interior with mesmerizing shadowplay and ever-changing visuals. meanwhile, the project preserves the original exterior silhouette of the building, while adding an open arrangement of ceramic vertical columns that give a distinctive character to the old church façade.
external view of the church showing the new ceramic intervention in white
all images courtesy of DeD studio
DeD studio has installed a series of vertical walls to the original exterior, providing a new identity to the structure, which is not totally alien. the off-white ceramic columns are placed strategically so as to maintain the openness of the temple, and not to obstruct the generous views towards the surrounding landscape. the new installation highlights the original features of the church, with the ceramic creating a dialogue with the surrounding masonry context, and its flute and tube formations enhancing the verticality of the building.
view of the west window pilasters from outside
the design takes the idea of a ‘baldacchino’ ornamented structure which is typically found in an italian church and reinterprets it into a fluid ramp that envelops both the stage and the audience billowing, inviting people to look up as they move through space. located in the nave, the installation helps accommodate the new function of a concert hall, while generating an interesting contrast with the surrounding massive stone walls. in addition, its perforation filter the light, turning the existing walls into an ever-changing canvas of optical shading effects.
view of the west window pilasters looking upwards from the ground
the contemporary ‘baldacchino’ is formed as a series of ramps that spiral around the church, allowing people to explore it at all different levels, and enjoy the performance from a wide variety of vistas, collectively or alone. ‘here we sought to challenge the idea of listening to a concert as a static binary relationship and make a performance into a dynamic journey which can be viewed from multiple angles’ DeD shares. the project referenced religious history this time being inspired by the mythical journey of dante up into the heavens, spiralling up through the space out of the darkness into the light, with music washing around as you ascend to the glazed roof at the top of the building.
view of raked seating
walkway within the nave
walkway within the nave
walkway within the roof providing new perspective on the existing structure
walkways wrap and spiral around the central stage providing view and audio points at different levels and perspectives
view from the stage looking outward
ground floor plan
cross section through the crossing
long section through the nave
name: the baldacchino of chiesa durita
architects: DeD studio
edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom