The City of Bologna has announced an open ideas contest to upgrade its historic municipal theatre
The single-stage competition seeks proposals to ‘renovate and enhance’ the 18th-century landmark, known locally as the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and considered to be one of Italy’s most important opera venues.
The call for ideas aims to generate phased conceptual visions to overhaul the Antonio Galli Bibiena-designed venue and improve its connections to the surrounding district, which includes the historic University of Bologna.
According to the brief: ‘The municipal theatre is located in an area of the historical city centre normally defined as “Zone U” in reference to the presence of buildings that host offices and establishments pertaining to the University of Bologna.
‘The goals of the renovation and enhancement project are to redefine the theatre’s relationship to this urban area and enhance the potential of its role as an “urban device” capable of opening out to its surroundings, thereby activating and maintaining new relationships with the physical and social context over time.’
Bologna is Italy’s seventh largest city and capital of the country’s Emilia-Romagna region. The municipal theatre was created in 1763 to replace an earlier opera venue which had burned down.
The historic complex features a distinctive bell-shaped auditorium with four levels of private boxes.
Submissions – which must be in Italian – will be judged on their ability to create a contemporary theatre open to the city, to ensure the protection of the historic structure, to boost the surrounding area’s liveability, and to protect the environment.
Judges will include Guendalina Salimei from the Bologna Association of Architects; Marco Pretelli of the University of Bologna’s Department of Architecture; and Francesco Evangelisti, director of urban plans and projects at the City of Bologna.
The overall winner will receive €12,000 while a second prize of €10,000 and third prize of €8,000 will also be awarded. The client may then appoint the winner to design and deliver the scheme.
The deadline for applications is 16 September.
How to apply
Comune di Bologna
U.I. Appalti e Contratti