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Platform 3.17

The incredible story of how a group of Italian companies rebuilt a devastated town

by Paolo Ferrarini in Design on 01 February 2010

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When a devastating earthquake hit L'Aquila in April of 2009, Italian civil service agency the Civil Protection launched the C.A.S.E. Project to rebuild safe, high quality homes. Employing 16 Italian companies to design and build these new houses, the book "Platform 3.17" tells the incredible story of a creative and constructive process where innovation met craftsmanship through tragic circumstances.

One of the master carpenters, Wood Beton from Brescia in northern Italy, was an unexpected choice for C.A.S.E. Known for their extensive building experience, however, their work was remarkable and the book widely documents it with images, as well as with precise technical details.

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Using a highly sustainable and very fast "dry" construction technique, Wood Beton finished the first apartments in just 55 days—almost a month earlier than conditions foreseen in the bid. The first four units are three stories high and connect by three staircases, which play a structural role as "columns" that support the entire building. Each floor has eight apartments of various sizes, ranging from studios up to three-bedrooms.

As a result of Wood Beton's exacting and demanding standards, the houses improve upon a number of common problems, including thermal isolation, fire resistance, sound proofing, dimension stability, bulging and shrinking. More than temporary houses, they make a compelling example of total devotion to quality and sustainability.

The book sells in Italian and English for €35 online.

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