Abandoned places, complexes and parts of cities. Regeneration and enhancement of monumental hospitals in the historic centre of Naples


  • Claudia Sicignano University of Naples Federico II
  • Lorenzo Diana University of Naples Federico II
  • Rossella Marmo University of Salerno
  • Francesco Polverino University of Naples Federico II




regeneration, historical hospital, sustainability


Even before Covid-19 although in the very center of the old town and historic center of Naples there were abandoned buildings and complexes, uninhabited and unused for decades. The cause is attributed to multiple reasons such as functional obsolescence, failure to adapt to intervening European standards in terms of hospital construction, technological facilities to standards, etc. The health crisis which strongly affected European societies revealed the fragilities of our healthcare systems. In Italy, a large number of COVID-19 patients congested hospitals while the continuity of essential services was interrupted at the expense of other needs. At the same time, the process of abandonment of historic buildings affects different monumental hospitals, such as the “San Giacomo degli Incurabili” and the “Carlo Forlanini” in Rome, or the “Gesù e Maria” Hospital, “San Gennaro dei Poveri” and the “Santa Maria del Popolo degli Incurabili” in Naples. This paper reports three case studies of Neapolitan historical hospitals regeneration proposals with the goal of strengthening the existing community healthcare system and developing energy efficiency and seismic improvement strategies in the spirit of sustainable development. Leveraging the flexibility of monumental hospitals, the proposed light retrofit interventions restore the historial healthcare functional destination ensuring also the reuse of such an heritage. The current research delineates an approach to the recovery and enhancement for social and cultural purposes of unused and abandoned historical hospitals. This approach can positively affect the quality of life of citizens and the use of health services, while recovering historical cultural heritage buildings.


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Author Biographies

Claudia Sicignano, University of Naples Federico II

Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture

Lorenzo Diana, University of Naples Federico II

Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Rossella Marmo, University of Salerno

Department of Civil Engineering

Francesco Polverino, University of Naples Federico II

Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


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How to Cite

Sicignano, C., Diana, L., Marmo, R. and Polverino, F. (2022) “Abandoned places, complexes and parts of cities. Regeneration and enhancement of monumental hospitals in the historic centre of Naples”, VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, 7(1), pp. 78–91. doi: 10.4995/vitruvio-ijats.2022.17489.