Architect Renzo Piano has replaced the auditorium destroyed during the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy, with a flat-pack building comprising three wooden cubes.
Creating an illusion of instability, the auditorium is formed by three interconnected cubes made entirely of wood (1.165 cubic meters in total) that ironically appears as they had “haphazardly tumbled down” and came to rest upon each other. The entire structure was prefabricated and then assembled onsite by Log Engineering, who pieced it together with 800,000 nails, 100,000 screws and 10,000 brackets.
Although the wooden cubes provide a striking contrast to the neighboring, 16th-century Castle of L’Aquila, the material was chosen to optimize the building’s acoustic function. Using larch from Val di Fiemme in Trento, which is highly-valued and famously known for being used by Cremona’s 17th-century master lute-makers, Stradivarius being the most famous, the building is intended to preform like a musical instrument.