After three and a half years from the earthquake that destroyed the entire city of L 'Aquila, the “Auditorium del Parco”, signed by Renzo Piano, was inaugurated on the 7th October 2012.
The motto of this festive event suggests that the city’s reconstruction should start from here, from the moment in which a work with such a great social (and political) echo is fulfilled.
To think that the city’s historical centre had to wait for such an intervention in order to declare the start of the games, after nearly four years from the earthquake, leaves in the air a vague and ill-concealed bitterness.
But is it right to rejoice and be glad of this event: L 'Aquila is back in the limelight again, and this is good for the community, workers and young people. Hearts swell with pride (and with them the trumpets of unnecessary controversy steeped in selfishness) and suddenly you feel more in love with the city, that same city that in its most shabby moments is evoked, remembered and mourned like never before.
Let’s not forget to be grateful to those who have donated resources and commitment to create a work that is part of L 'Aquila just like music is part of culture.
"Better make and receive controversies!": these are the words of the President of the autonomous province of Trento, Lorenzo Dellai, excited and proud to show that politics can be the engine of civil renewal. As an Aquilina, I say thanks.
But do not let gratitude intimidate the souls of the observers! It is not said that you cannot judge a work of architecture with a spirit of constructiveness. Renzo Piano himself states that it is not for the author to evaluate his own work as certainly he would not be objective. He adds that it is the duty of citizens to express an opinion about a place or an architectural work. It is their duty, as well as their right, to decide how to live in their own space.
So be it.
I will give voice to two citizens of L 'Aquila putting aside my own, as an architect, for once.
"We are full of c.a.s.e. (the project c.a.s.e. is a plan that includes the construction of Antiseismic Sustainable and Eco-friendly houses in the towen of L'Aquila, ndr), with or without punctuation.
Our life develops between an internal and an interior, continuously searching for an oasis of social living.
I felt the urgency of a square, a reference of beauty and modernity. I'd had enough concrete, skinned and gutted buildings.
This is such a beautiful work, even more so because it is on one side and enhances the sixteenth-century history of the castle. "(A. C., citizen of L 'Aquila)
"Hearing a female architect, left-wing and environmentalist, say:" I like Renzo Piano's Auditorium Parco del Castello, at least that area is no longer degraded " is like hearing a doctor say," I like the new French-style nose on the face of that patient suffering from cancer, at least in the morning when she looks in the mirror she will feel prettier even without hair.” The cancer of this society is the rampant carelessness and indifference to the common good." (I. T., citizen of L 'Aquila)
And forgive me if I returned architecture to its rightful owners!