Atelier Cho Thompson
ACT_LAquilaUmbrellas (1).jpg

Market for L'Aquila


Client: Canvas

Services: Interior Design


In collaboration with Vera Shur with the guidance of Shigeru Ban & Danielle Etzler

Testing various materials like PVC, CPVC, bamboo, fiberglass, we developed an easily transportable, demountable umbrella market. This project proposed a market for L'Aquila supporting street life culture in parallel with the city's rebuilding effort. After testing various materials, we used easily-sourced materials like pipes and plywood alongside waterjet-cut steel and fiberglass kite parts which could flat pack easily for shipping. L’Aquila, Italy was devastated by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in April 2009, killing over 300 and leaving 50,000 homeless. The damage was so severe that the historical city center since emptied out into a ghost town. Since then, the city has seen a very slow rebuilding effort that is estimated to last 15 years. This marketplace would possess an iconicity that would attract tourists, critical to revive the region’s economy, and provide a lively place for L’Aquilans to gather. Easily assembled, reassembled, and transported, an aggregation of architecturalized umbrellas (housing a bar table, market table, or bench) creates an articulated arching space beneath and an undulating form above, in reference to the prominent Appenine Mountains of Abruzzo. A series of full-scale mockups were developed.