The rebirth of a city, L’Aquila, Italian interlude

I was curios to see what was going on, after 8 years from the big earthquake that devastated this City, in the middle of Italy located just 1 hour an half by car from Rome.

I have been gratified by a positive attitude that it is spread all over the citizens. A new mayor was just been elected. The center of the city is an enormous working in progress. I think from 5 to 10 per cent of the palaces are already been repaired accordingly to the new strict anti-seismic regulation. Churches would take longer of course but at least 50 per cent of the real estate goods are under active reparation.

I am sure that in 10 years L’ Aquila will show a full renovated historical centrum more beautiful than the state it was before the earthquake.


A good point also can be made out of new seismical approach that has inundated the city. Not by coincidence at all, in 2009, just few months after the hit, the Law introducing new, more strict rules to consider the effect of seismic forces was introduced in Italy after a long deprecated procrastination under the conservative Italian forces such as building enterprises for instance. More than that, the 15.000 new houses built in less than year under the direction of the Civil Protection absolute power eventually force the Italians to take in consideration the seismic isolation mechanism so well known in Japan under the name of “Menshin”. The effect is touchable still today, the normal “aquilano” – the local citizen – is as informed as a structural engineer about construction mechanism and technologies that cannot be cheated at all.

The unexpected effect is that these days real estate values in L’Aquila are underestimated, because of the earthquake, where in reality they are far better re-built than in other part of Italy! If you zoom on the horizon you can count the number of cranes standing on the top of the centrum.



One last input: An unnecessary suggestion to the mayor would be considering to give the outskirt a new urban approach especially where it seems it never had one. To get appeal toward the northern Europe future visitors some efforts must be addressed. Bicycle lanes, clear bus schedule and limitations of traffic speed with the passive dissuaders in critical points to name a few improvements I think L’Aquila deserves.




SPAM get caught by Cauce

This is a kind of public sharing post, I wish somebody else would help bounding here and there.

Who does not get spam mail? I had to change at least 10 mail in the last 10 years because of spams. Eventually I found some serious ones who are fighting back.

It is a organizazion called CAUCE who have suited companies and won trials!

That is a big Wow.

They also have collected data and help to clean the web with their Operation Safety Net document,(76 pages long pdf file, here the link) .


Gokokuji temple 護国寺

I forgot to publish the pictures of the Gokokuji Temple in my last post (here their offical web site). It’s remarkable firstly this temple has kept unchanged in spite of earthquakes and war. I am writing of a building built in 1697 under the Tsunayoshi Tokugawa, upone request of his mother.

On one side this means we do not fully understand how the sysmic forces workings really  are,

because any buddhist temple, according to our contemporary methodologies f or constructing buildings, would be without any doubts falling down after an earthquake of the same magnitude as the “Great Kanto” had, for instance.  Indeed every buddhist temple has no foundations works. Each pillar is only leaned over a stone.

So here they are image host image host image host image host  image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host image host  image host image host image host image host image host image host image host

There are others buildings here not only the main temple called Kannon-dou, also the Tahou-tou from 1938 and others smaller older constructions. The leaflet I got from the booth inside the temple mention the Nio-mon (the entrance you can see from my shootings which is from the same period ), the Daishi-dou (which is originally from 1701 but underwnt drastic renovation from 1926 onward) the Shouro-Dou (it’s a sort of little belfry  – in italian campanile – built in 1682), the Gekkou-den ( a guest house from 1928) the Yakushi-dou (built in 1691 somewhere else and move here), there’s even the Churei-dou (built in the Meji 35 year where soldiers were buried) and other  specialties that  may be interest you.

Also a large cemetery is placed behind the mayor temple, and here in Tokyo cemeteries are really nice place to visit.


Sendai Mediateque’s Toyo Ito work in Myagi Prefecture is still there

I was a bit worried about that famous work, delighted by light all over and inside the pillar, that it could have been hitted by the Tsunami of March 11, 2011.

I have found this image of what happened there, it looks only the false celings went down.


today reading trough the pages of The Japan Times, I’ve discovered that it still stands, and Toyo Ito has won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. After last Venice award for his Career is a good new also to me. I always thought best architects in the Worls are here in Japan and I am feeling happy to know that others are thinking the same. On the opposite I was peeved when I left the office today because  it is not supposed to receive a “salut” back when you leave the office in reply to your greet here in Japan? Anyway I will get along with that, they left me stay there for 1hour and half reading the conversation of “home for All” book, I will touch later on this blog, and and interesting number of the main japanese architecture monthly review where I found an amazed work…

Here an italian explanation about those pillars.

here a video on youtube shooted by student of the entrance and inside of the real building meanwhile here a video of a 3d animation for the fans of  3d design