Atelier Volpe
Grottole, Italie

Chiesa Diruta, the vernacular name of «the fallen church», tells us that despite its thick walls and topographically anchored layout, the church fell. Originally a church is a place to connect earth and sky, but collapsed, the Chiesa Diruta no longer fulfills its role. The creation of a concert hall inside this religious building is a unique opportunity to create a radiant meeting place, to bring stability to this ruined church and to reconnect earth and sky. The meeting point of a church and a concert hall is silence. If one prays in silence in a church, it is also in silence that one listens to music: Silence brings music to life.

The silent ideal place is the desert. An expedition into the desert, in profound silence, can be compared to an inner journey, deep within oneself, to a spiritual quest. The Desert Symphony does not impose itself in rupture, on the contrary, it seeks through its intervention to establish a continuity between the church and the concert hall by using the atmosphere of a desert, symbolic of silence. The use of pure geometrical shapes like the triangle or pyramid are symbols of stability, because 3 points always belonging to the same plane. The creation of this stability harmonizes the present state of the historic church which is ruin.The concert hall takes place on two levels.

The visitor enters through the high level on the street side which is the space of the hall, rehearsal space and 100 places standing concert hall. It preserves the church for a complete understanding of it. Above this space seems to float a gigantic triangle, it protects us, brings light into the church and seems to indicate something is happening under our feet, it invites us to go down, physically into the building and into ourselves to find silence.

The musicians or actors enter through the low level on the side of the place. In this level a 90 seats auditorium invites us to contemplate the stage lit by a patio which can be used as an outdoor stage. Half buried, this auditorium can refer to the artificial or natural caves found in the area from which «Grottole» takes its name: cryptulae in Latin. At the end of the performance, the light and the pyramid invite us to go back up to the surface to find the city. The silence acquired at the lower level connects us to ourselves and then favors the social exchange with the others once back up.

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