Churches close: this is the current situation both nationally and European, which highlights that the abandonment or disposal of ecclesiastical complexes is now an urgent phenomenon that asks designers to think on the fate of these heritage. The intervention of abandoned ecclesiastical structures focuses some issues, still to be investigated, related to a general depopulation of the countries, a progressive secularization of society and a overall crisis of religious faith that asks to find new places, new spaces and new stories to profess the faith. At European level and particularly Italian one, it follows a surplus of Christian religious heritage that poses urgent questions in relation to its conservation and its use, in accordance with their historical and architectural value. There are also many cases of underutilization or prolonged or permanent closure as an antidote or advance of disposal processes, sale or re-functionalization. The phenomenon of "empty churches" shows an interesting intervention of architectural metamorphosis with overturn use changing, in some cases even blasphemous or provocative. Especially in Northern Europe the abandoned and deconsecrated churches become theatres, atelier, libraries, luxury hotels or private homes included in the architectural frame of the church but also kindergartens, bars, clubs or skate parks. This paper intended to present the methodological process and the outcomes of an activity of an International Summer School named "[RICH*] - Reuse and Improvement of Cultural Heritage" funded by the University of Pavia in which teachers and students from different countries (Italy, Spain and Turkey) have worked together to set the reading and the strategies of the project in which new definitions and new roles of religious complexes can found, in particular contexts, reason and meaning. Specifically, the case study refers to the church of Ognissanti, in the ex-Certosina complex of the historical building Palazzo Botta in Pavia. Precisely because of the centrality of this case study in the city historical centre and of the broader reading of urban policies, the theme of the reuse of ecclesiastical complex was considered both to the architectural scale and to the building-environment relationship, really with the general aim of triggering new uses and new stories of the city.
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