The strong modernity expressed by MAXXI represents the ideal background for this work focused on the transfiguration and contamination of an absolute space.
This work focuses on the interaction between site-specific artwork and public space generated by the alteration of an architectural scheme whose original nature is totally classic.
The tale of this project unfolds through three main categories, namely space, time and substance, that also represent the tools that drive the visitor in its discovery of this work.
Displaying its ambivalent nature, this work fluctuates between past and present, a long period of time where the existing elements of the city generate a strong identity able to give significance to this space. The classical attitude of the project can influence the perception and the spatial sensibility of people that have intense daily contacts with historical contexts and whose relationship with modernity consequently become quite problematic.
The installation intends to generate a contemporary space beginning with the archetypes of classical architecture: this operation reveals how the processes of alteration of an existing model can generate new objects whose nature is considerably different from the original one. As a result, the visitor develops a sense of unexpected ethereality. The past, present and future are overlapped losing its clear confines.
The installation recalls an ephemeral architecture, full of classical references although it is reinterpreted in a pop style. The ornamental masonry of the wall of the Renaissance palaces, the bugnato for example, is duplicated on the exterior skin of the main pavilion through the stretching of a golden textile, a slight material that shines during the day and instead it’s lit on the back side during the night. This trick, that unveils the inner wooden skeleton of the structure, underlines the contrast between inside and outside, between body and soul and evokes ancient spatial schemes: in this way the installation can establish a relation with the city but with an aware irony. The result is an archaic space or, in other words, a modern tholòs that can go beyond the limits of architecture tout court.
The work is a sort of temporal bridge that transfers the classical character of Rome into the contemporary age, emphasizing the process that give new meaning to objects through the manipulation of elements of the ancient architecture.
The installation reveals the quality and the richness of this place of refined culture: its imposing nature and its central position, that excludes whatever possible preferential point of view, strongly declare this intent. The structure has a multi-directional character, overturning the common design practice focused on the contrast between the designed object and its setting: there aren’t any points of view set up in advance by the architect but it’s the visitor that establish its own visual relationship with the object.
The central-plan is the starting point of the project while the alteration of this scheme represents its final development. A sequence of consecutive arches, built along the perimeter of the circular pavilion according to the possible uses that the structure itself can host, permits the circulation of the public on the ground level. The irregular shape of the upper profile of the structure, resulted from subtraction of some parts of the original volume, is consequence of the same process of adaptability, induced by the visual impact of the existing museum.
This process of alteration, together with the effect generated by the curved shadows cast by the arches on the ground, reinforces the site-specific character of this object, limiting its abstract nature. Four other circular platforms creates a walkway where the visitor can experiment various situations: immersed in a sort of ‘liquid’ space, the real unitary element of this dismantled garden, each platform is dedicated to a different activity and represents a single island of an unitary archipelago.
The general arrangement of the garden is coherent with the manifold nature of the main pavilion: pending between self-sufficiency and reliance, the platforms can work as autonomous islands or as a unitary system according to the ongoing event or performance.
The general arrangement of the installation generates different areas in the immediate surroundings of the museum. The dismantled garden emerges only in some punctual part of the hard square where the visitor can experiment, enclosed in circular perimeters, a collection of different sensorial experiences and materials: water, plants, sand, wood and golden fabric. The spectator is driven to establish a relationship with this mysterious object dedicated to modern rituals and with the surrounding circles, suggested by the position of the structures of the installation or by the materials; his/her pace of movement and stay depends on the weather, the ongoing performances and his/her way of using and living the installation.
The actions of individuals determine the specific perception of the elements. The central pavilion, surrounded by inhabitable walls drilled by arches, can offer protection from the hot and in the same time a relaxing place during the day, while it becomes a lighting stage during the evening performances. The structure is characterized by a huge scenic arch open towards the garden and it can transform into an open-air theatre or a stage for ballet, music or lecture and all the other programmed summer events when necessary.
The main pavilion is covered with a golden fabric that presents the shape as the typical masonry ornamentation of the walls of the renaissance Italian palaces, the bugnato. The manifold nature assumed by the object encourages the visitors to discover more deeply the installation and to get into the building through the narrow lateral arches up to the central bowels, characterised by the radial wooden structure. The variable thickness of the circular wall becomes a threshold between outdoor space, the garden, and inner space and it appears different at every moment of the day depending on the lighting conditions, the weather or the spatial perception of each individual visitor.
The inside structure is made of wooden CLT panel, a technology that allows to build a radial schemes of thin elements. The pavilion can be totally dismantled, moved and assembled in other spatial configurations in accordance with other requirements and contexts.