L’Aquila Theatre


Italy, 2017 – 2018
Client: MiBACT

The historical theater of L’Aquila was built between 1854 and 1872 by the architect Luigi Catalano. It is located in Piazza del Teatro, and it boasts a typical neoclassical structure. The foyer, named ‘Sala Rossa’ (the Red Room), is entirely decorated with frescoes and characterized by a monumental marble staircase also of neoclassical origins.
The hall has a horseshoe-shaped audience overlooking a stage of about 150 m². The box seats surround the audience and are divided into three tiers topped by a gallery with about 100 seats. An earthquake on the 6th of April, 2009 deeply damaged the structure, creating cracks in the façade and collapsing the foyer’s stonework vault and of the front eaves.
In December 2017, ASDEA S.r.l. was commissioned by MiBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Regional Secretariat for Abruzzo) to analyse the seismic vulnerability of the building in its actual condition. Thanks to our sophisticated non-linear analyses, our study identified structural deficiencies that made the building incompatible with the safety levels required for its public functions. The study will enable the planning of suitable safety interventions.