Lavanderia a Vapore
The Collegno Lavanderia a Vapore lies on the outskirts of Torino and is both the regional dance centre for Piemonte, a residence centre and a member of the EDN – European Dancehouse Network.
It is recognised by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and is currently managed by the Fondazione Piemonte dal Vivo. The Lavanderia, with its wealth of connotations, is located in the magnificent, redeveloped premises of the former laundry rooms of a complex that was once Italy’s biggest psychiatric hospital. Today the centre is recognised nationally and internationally for its innovative management policies that are in line with other European dance centres and focus on revitalising creative processes and promoting artistic exchanges.
The history of the Lavanderia is closely associated with that other nearby sites, first and foremost the Certosa Reale monastery, built in 1641. In the nineteenth century many buildings, known as “wings”, were built around the monastery in a comb-like layout and, over time, the complex became the Royal Asylum of Collegno. The institution was closed some 100 years later when Italy enacted the Basaglia law: thanks to the endeavours of politicians, associations and citizens, what had until then been a place of repression, was turned into a public park.
Restoration work on the “laundry” wing started in 2004; the restoration project was developed by architect Antonio Besso Marcheis and financed by the Municipality of Collegno and the Region of Piemonte. The project was completed in 2008 with the launch of a centre of excellence in dance.
A spacious outdoor courtyard hosts summer events such as concerts and performances. Additionally, two more rehearsal rooms, which are often used by artists in residence, were created in the wing known as “Stireria” that was restored some years later. Piemonte dal Vivo, in association with a variety of other actors, gives new life to the many spaces of this magnificent building by organising performances, artistic residencies, training and other activities designed for a general audience. The study of dance and the culture it expresses are the main focus of the Lavanderia and its partnerships, which are both local to international. It is a venue where the interaction between past and present is both vibrant and self-evident, together with a relentless pursuit of contemporary creation and experimentation. become the home of the Piedmont dance scene and a model for European dance in general, thanks to the redevelopment of an area that was formerly the steam laundry of the Regio Manicomio (Royal Insane Asylum) in Collegno,near Turin.
The rehabilitation of the site is part of regional policy actions intended to integrate culture, performing arts and community development following an agreement between regional governments and MiBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism) that establishes a new Italian System of Artistic Residencies. Lavanderia a Vapore presents a diversified season in which it explores the field of dance through a variety of languages and approaches. Its permanent, integrated programme features great diversity in the area of creative production. The programme is developed in unison with project partners with the goal of attracting international artists and providing opportunities and support for local talent.