Ardinghelli Palace is located in the heart of the historical center of L’Aquila. The building is on two main levels; the ground floor is dominated by the presence of passing entrance hall with the stairs on the left, and by a colonnaded courtyard. The ground floor reveal the various building phases that led to the formation of the edifice; the main floor, at least in the body facing the square, was completely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1703, with the creation of large vaulted halls and the insertion of a small chapel surmounted by a dome.
Together with the facade, the courtyard is the element that characterizes the building; its exedra termination differentiate it from almost all of the buildings in L’Aquila and gives coherence to the architectural complex. Under the stylistic unity given to the palace by the eighteenth-century intervention, it’s hidden an intense layering readable through the structure and character building of the factory.



The intervention is based on the traditional restoration principles and is aimed to repairing the damages caused by the earthquake of 6th April 2009, to seismic improvement and to the re-use of Palace Ardinghelli. The goal of the project is to equip the building with a structural plant that makes the Palace able to respond effectively to the seismic action.
Moreover is provided the restoration of surfaces and decorations, finishing works and the building installations necessary for its future reuse. The earthquake damage were repaired with traditional techniques, using anyway modern technologies. The damaged masonry vaults have been repaired and consolidated while the collapsed ones have been rebuilt with similar technology. The connections between walls have been realized with a systematic shackling at the height of the ceilings. On top of the walls has been realized a bead reinforced masonry, in order to give a better connection between the walls and the elements of the cover. The improvement of textures masonry has been realized by using the insertion of artificial diatones. The roofs were reconstructed with wooden warping, substantially preserving the original plant but regularizing the mesh of the main elements.

New walls construction_At the rear of the building (in the rooms overlooking Via Garibaldi and Via Ardinghelli) interior walls collapsed and unsafe were rebuilt, shaped and brought up to the level of the roof.

Closing and reduction of the voids/ Repairation of the lesions_The earthquake damage to the load-bearing walls were repaired using traditional techniques; impairments were eliminated and the quality of the masonry has been improved locally in function of the specific vulnerabilities detected.

Improvement of textures masonry: diatones insertion_The improvement of textures masonry has been realized using to the insertion of diatones, which confer a higher level of meshing means in the thickness and in the plane of the masonry that haven’t sufficient mechanical quality.
The work was carried out with a construction technology that provides the realization of artificial diatones 3-6 cm thick, inserting a steel bar in a braided polyester and injecting grout under pressure.

Substitution of lintels_The project includes different types of interventions on the lintels depending on the type. Many of these elements have been reinforced with steel beams and brick.

Realization of bricks beam_On top of the walls has been realized a beam reinforced masonry, in order to give a better connection between the walls and the elements of the roof. The beam was made entirely of brick and reinforced with one / two metal rods placed at the base of it, and sealed with cement grout.

Recostruction/ Reinforcement of masonry vaults_The masonry vaults damaged have been repaired and consolidated while collapsed - with the exception of the vaulted brick “in foglio” - have been rebuilt with similar technology The presence of residual parts, has been preserved as far as possible, making legible portions reconstructed, to maintain a memory of this earthquake.
The masonry vaults damaged have been repaired and / or rebuilt and reinforced by the application of net and fiber connectors basalt and grout based on natural hydraulic lime.

Reconstruction of the roofs_The roofs were reconstructed with wooden warping, preserving the original plant but essentially regularizing the mesh of the main elements. In rooms which overlook Piazza Santa Maria Paganica was preserved the original system using wooden trusses.



Historical and artistic interventions interest on the building all the decorations present in it: stuccos, stones, plasters, floors, iron works and paintings. The initial historical knowledge of the building was complete by the works of structural nature that have allowed us to gather broad information about the construction history of the building and its equipment and techniques used by the workers; news that represent an indispensable bench mark for the execution of the works of restoration. The project aims at the reconstruction of those devices that are collapsed (stone: lodge of the court, central window, window Guelph, etc..) and preservation of items damaged and degraded (plaster, stucco, floor, etc.).

Restoration of the roofs_For fine plaster have been applied restorative procedures that involve the use of materials and methods compatible with the existing and ensuring greater stability of the layers of polychrome and fine. For this purpose, appropriate analysis were performed for characterization of the plaster. Fine plasters were consolidated by: pre-consolidation; Grouting of edges; Consolidation of detachments; Integration of the gaps; Cleaning; Protective treatment / Coloring.

Restoration of the stone decorative elements_The stone blocks belonging to the element collapsed are identified and cataloged and fitted dry. The missing parts are restored by the addition of synthetic stone reconstructed by casts. The new portions are secured by metal pins and also ensure reversibity intervention. The phases of intervention are foreseen: the restoration and cataloging of the stone elements collapsed; the reconstruction of collapsed elements; depth study of the state of preservation, the mapping of the various types of degradation; cleaning (mechanical scalpels and spatulas, to chemical compresses and pad with water spray); consolidation with ethyl silicate and Deep injection, the microstuccature and applying the protective; The fixing of the stone elements of value was carried out with pins, anchors, threaded rods, perforated strips, etc …

Restoration of decorative elements in stucco_Some of the stucco elements have been integrated in order to return to work or reading unit to replenish architectural parts and decorative necessary for the conservation of the surrounding surfaces. They were created assays for the composition suitable mortar for coloring and grain size; then it was performed a cast silicone and the subsequent copy in mortar. The cast of remanufactured parts is positioned, glued and / or pivoted. The parts of small entity are made of mortar on the machined directly on the spot. Many of the existing elements were restored through the following steps:


SECURING - CONSOLIDATION OF POSTING AND DAMAGES. INTERVENTION OF CLEANING: They were made: 1. compresses with cellulose pulp with surfactants or ammonium carbonate to remove surface deposits with the aid of brushes or soft bristle brushes. 2. the atomization of water to remove deposits of calcium oxalate, soluble salts of air pollution.

FILLING AND RECONSTRUCTION OF FISSURES: For superficial cracks and parts to rebuild than to resort to the technique of the cast, have used mortars with binders of a different nature: hydraulic lime, slaked lime, lime. The formulations were varied and employ aggregates like sand, pozzolan or marble dust. It has paid special care to treat the surface of the gaps, practicing a diverse selection of colors. The principle, as in the restoration of paintings, is to make recognizable the intervention.


[by Fausto Dramisino]



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