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New Cistercian monastery, Cinigiano, Italy

Tuesday 29 Jun 2010

Good habits

New Cistercian monastery by ARCHOS S.R.L. in Cinigiano, Italy
Edoardo Milesi 
New Cistercian monastery by ARCHOS S.R.L. in Cinigiano, Italy New Cistercian monastery by ARCHOS S.R.L. in Cinigiano, Italy New Cistercian monastery by ARCHOS S.R.L. in Cinigiano, Italy
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05/10/10 Prof. P. J. Quinn, Albany, NY
I like the modesty of the firm's work. This coupled with formal strength indicates a very intelligent view of the problem of religious buildings.

I find it sad that no plans or sections are published, even on the ARCHOS website.
Award Entry

New monastery incorporates sustainability and self-sufficiency into its design 

The monastic complex is articulated based on a square with sides of about 40 metres, characterised at its interior by an area for cult, accommodation facilities associated to services and the residence of monks belonging to the Community.

The Cloister lies at its centre, which is a square with sides of about 14 metres looking onto the refectory on the South, the capitular hall and sacristy lay on the east side, while the church lies on the north side and the offices and guestrooms are located on the west side.

The building follows ancient approaches of sustainability, typical of Benedictine monks, but which can also be applied today thanks to the low costs of construction, low maintenance in time, great energy saving, integrated functional design, bio-engineering, use of local material, and low environmental impact. The use of technology for energy production is faced with the same functional logic based on simplicity of use.

The building is dedicated to an ONLUS project managed by a monastic community, which can be accessed and visited in any of its parts, by many users, thanks to a 'barrier-free' design. It represents innovation with regards to welcoming and opening towards any form of cultural debate, with an autartic style for survival and maintenance purposes.

The project is conceived to last over time with a reduced use of non-renewable resources. Sustainable strategies include storage and reuse of rain water and phyto-depurated waste water, production of electric energy through photovoltaic and Aeolian systems, in addition to passive solar accumulation. The building makes use of natural local materials for construction, not of synthesic type. The monastery adopts a self-sufficient model, using soil for agricultural activity to supply its own consumption.

In economic terms, the project was funded and realised through donations by private bodies. The invested budget allowed the architects to finalise the financial lots of a complex executive and detailed project in all its parts. The lots were not to be started without the certainty of reaching a good level of functionality, architectural and environmental d├ęcor and low maintenance. The great simplicity of the facility allows for remarkable flexibility in residential, welcoming and civil areas.

The project concerns an executive plan of public interest which will be realised in a valuable area in terms of environment, with an important reference meaning for the territory. Therefore, the architectural composition and building materials are made to last with time, to belong to the place in which they are placed, with no topographic modifications.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Reinventing Cities

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