The Arena Flegrea is one of the most relevant buildings of the great exhibition com-plex of the Prima Mostra Triennale delle Terre d???Oltremare (1937-1940) in Fuorigrotta, in the western area of Naples, which is undoubtedly the most significant architectural experience real-ized in Southern Italy in the first half of the 20th century. The design of the Arena Flegrea was entrusted in 1938 to the young architect Giulio De Luca (1912-2004). Destined to theatrical op-eras or music concerts, but also to collective meetings, the Arena («the first theater ??? specifically built for ??? outdoor mass shows»), was formerly conceived for 20,000 spectators, reduced in the final design to 12,000. The Arena could not be opened due to the entry of Italy in World War II that, in June 1940, led to the closure of the Mostra d???Oltremare. After the renovation in 1952, the Arena lived alternate seasons until the abandonment which motivated, not without controversies, its thoughtless demolition in 1989. The demolition of the masterpiece of the 1930s came with the guilty assent of the same architect who 50 years earlier had designed the building: Giulio De Lu-ca, who signed the plan for the reconstruction in the same site of a new building, completed in 2001. The Arena Flegrea presents today problems of conservation at large and small scale. On the one hand, some crucial issues arise, concerning in particular the economic sustainability of the Arena???s use, which at present is limited exclusively to the summer months. Secondly, some specific degradation problems stand out, partly due also to some original design choices, affect-ing in particular the surfaces of travertine cladding, the concrete of the side prospects, as well as the entire system of the rainwater draining. These issues need to be addressed promptly, in order to assure the survival of a masterpiece of the 20th century architecture.

The weak memory. The destruction and reconstruction of the Arena Flegrea in Naples and its present issues of conservation

MENNA, GIOVANNI;PANE, ANDREA
2014

Abstract

The Arena Flegrea is one of the most relevant buildings of the great exhibition com-plex of the Prima Mostra Triennale delle Terre d???Oltremare (1937-1940) in Fuorigrotta, in the western area of Naples, which is undoubtedly the most significant architectural experience real-ized in Southern Italy in the first half of the 20th century. The design of the Arena Flegrea was entrusted in 1938 to the young architect Giulio De Luca (1912-2004). Destined to theatrical op-eras or music concerts, but also to collective meetings, the Arena («the first theater ??? specifically built for ??? outdoor mass shows»), was formerly conceived for 20,000 spectators, reduced in the final design to 12,000. The Arena could not be opened due to the entry of Italy in World War II that, in June 1940, led to the closure of the Mostra d???Oltremare. After the renovation in 1952, the Arena lived alternate seasons until the abandonment which motivated, not without controversies, its thoughtless demolition in 1989. The demolition of the masterpiece of the 1930s came with the guilty assent of the same architect who 50 years earlier had designed the building: Giulio De Lu-ca, who signed the plan for the reconstruction in the same site of a new building, completed in 2001. The Arena Flegrea presents today problems of conservation at large and small scale. On the one hand, some crucial issues arise, concerning in particular the economic sustainability of the Arena???s use, which at present is limited exclusively to the summer months. Secondly, some specific degradation problems stand out, partly due also to some original design choices, affect-ing in particular the surfaces of travertine cladding, the concrete of the side prospects, as well as the entire system of the rainwater draining. These issues need to be addressed promptly, in order to assure the survival of a masterpiece of the 20th century architecture.
042014102011495500102
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/599662
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