Music +: A repurposing strategy for the Monastery of the Zoccolanti Friars in Torre del Greco (Italy)

Restaurierung, Kunsttechnologie und Konservierungswissenschaft

The goal of the design project was to propose a sustainable conservation, restauration, and reuse strategies for the Monastery Zoccolanti in Torre del Greco. Monastery Zoccolanti is a historic building, built in the second half of the sixteenth century by the Franciscan Order. It should be found a reuse strategy which, on one hand would bring the building back to the public and fulfill the needs of the local people, and on the other hand would draw attention to Torre del Greco. The reuse strategy should also respect the history and internal structure of the building. Based on these points, it was decided to reuse the monastery as a music school. The courtyard is converted to a space for small music events. The area in front of the monastery is used as space for big classical music events and the exhibition space.

The reuse strategy is based on the history of the monastery, it had already been a school for poor girls and orphans. The choice to make a music school of it relates to internal structure of the building. Learning music is very individualized process, which does not need big classrooms. It is possible to organize several individual music practice rooms in former nouns cells without making big structural changes.
For the developing of the project the event of destructive eruption of Vesuvius in 1794 was very important. This eruption had changed the landscape of the city and closed the entrance to the building. Ground floor and first floor were disconnected from each other. A lot of people saved their lives in the courtyard of the building. All this fact used in the design. The school on the upper floors and the public space on the ground floor are disconnected from each other and have different entrances. The courtyard as a place for small classical music events will be the hart of the building.
To connect this addition to the history of the building the idea of the vineyard and garden with crops were used. The idea of leveled terrain was used for design of the new building. It was combined with the typology of courtyard, which is the same for the monastery. This combination has formed a kind of amphitheater, where the classical music events could be held. In the building itself there is an exhibition space, where the documented history of the monastery and of Torre del Greco will be presented.
For the realization of the reuse project two materials were chosen: massive masonry and timber. For masonry construction yellow tuff was chosen.
The surfaces of the new and old walls will be plastered. It will be differentiated between the new and the old plaster.
To design the architectural element the language of simple forms is used. The windows will have square shapes instead of arches. The roof borders will be covered with simple stone elements made from yellow tuff. The shape of cross vaults will be interpreted in the roof construction.
All the roof constructions will be made from timber. Timber elements will be put together and build a diamond shaped roof. The flat roofs of the exhibition space will be greened, the new roofs of the second floor will be realized in a traditional technique. Timber will be used as a finishing material, especially for the acoustic panels in music practice rooms and in the courtyard.
Conservation strategy for the fresco focuses on the fresco itself. Fresco will be cleaned and refreshed; the missing parts will be added. All the other material layers on this wall will be documented and covered with the new plaster.

New and old
Axonometry and materiality of the project
The state of conservation of the building
Ground and First floor
Ground Floor
The repurposing strategy: Spaces for small and big music events © Yana Shcherbakova
First and Second Floor
The repurposing strategy: The Music School © Yana Shcherbakova
The conservation strategy: A need for reversibility © Yana Shcherbakova
3D view
The repurposed monastery © Yana Shcherbakova