Out of the pipes.
Today it would be important to think about a “new” architectural approach, able to analyze, understand, revalue and appreciate what our cities have to communicate.
Our cities talk, the buildings themselves have to say something, but often architects are deaf, blind, and turn away from what should be the true concept of architecture ... the responsibility to protect existing things, mixing it with the new cultural expressions that characterize our era.
This is the method at the basis of architecture of the "research project" we developed on the "Ex-Upim" building in Cuneo (Italy).
This method begins with a research, discovery and re-discovery phase of a building that many people consider ugly, "a wound architecture" for our city, forgetting what the building symbolize with its typically "rationalist architecture".
The "ex-Upim" building is for many citizens of Cuneo a point of reference and a childhood memory. It was the first department store that was born in the city center.
Hide it, delete it, age it and trivialize it, would be an insult to a building that is part of our city and of our collective imagination (... even a building has a soul ...).
History is not only something "old" or "ancient", but is also represented by cultural, artistic and architectural expressions of a particular historical moment.
From here, the key idea of "Follow Me", a "research project" based on the recovery and enhancement approach.
The facade of the building assumes a new face, is dematerialized, alters the perception without compromising it, through a “sensory skin" made with simple transparent pvc pipes.
At night, a play of light, inside the pipe, unconsciously controlled by those who walk under the porch, allows the building to "talk" to become a new landmark for the city.
This project emphasizes the ability to mix the "new" with "old."
The sensory technological skin becomes a game, giving the building a new image, never boring, capable of changing, without forgetting the past.
“Ex-Upim” building will finally have the chance to "speak", in fact if no one ever realized that it did, now he can see with their own eyes.