Circus – Chiesa Diruta

CLIENT: Competition

Welcome to Circus Chiesa Diruta!

The 15th-century catholic church, after having been destroyed by earthquakes, fires, building issues, and finally abandoned, needs to cheer up!

Inspired by the fresh and whimsy imaginary of the circus, the brand-new Chiesa Diruta is now spruced-up and revamped!

Characterized by a large elliptical-shaped enclosed arena, Chiesa Diruta Circus can accommodate up to 50 seating people for lectures, theatre plays, musical, artistic performances, concerts, and festivals.

The open-air venue is structured in three levels. On the underground floor, the marquee welcomes the visitors which, through a metal staircase, subsequently reach the ground floor. Here are located the ticket desk, the lobby and the hall. Finally, an elevated built platform stands over the ground floor and hosts the cafe, allowing the visitors to perceive the whole space from a greater height.

The stage is in the center, and the audience arranged on all sides, covering 360-degrees. Such configuration brings the performers into the same space as the spectators, allowing for a strong and direct engagement with the gathering, both as individuals and as a collective.

Recalling the mid-19th century big tops of touring circuses, the distinctive elliptical hole on Chiesa Diruta’s dome is emphasized by a gleeful white-and-red-striped tent-like structure sustained by a helium balloon. On the one hand, the big top covers the seating area next to the cafe counter, on the other acts as a landmark in Grottole surroundings.

Designed in collaboration with Livia Stacchini and Alessia Reali.

interior design