Cabinet of Curiosities

Architettura Monumentale is an axonometric projection showing two sides of a volume standing on a tiled pavement with a grey sky in the background. The building is dark, rough and introverted, lacking an explicit function. The challenge of the project was to imagine life within this form: starting from the partially defined outer volume we unveiled the invisible facades and entered into the unexplored interior to finally conquer the building as a whole. For the first Biennale in Orléans the project has been built in a reduced version, turning the house into a Cabinet of Curiosity.

2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo · Cabinet of Curiosities
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo

Cabinet of curiosities
Architettura Monumentale is an axonometric projection showing two sides of a volume standing on a tiled pavement with a grey sky in the background. The building is dark, rough and introverted, lacking an explicit function except that of being a piece of monumental architecture.
This is just one of the incredible amount of drawings that Ettore Sottsass produced during his life. To the point that his urge to record on paper every thought and reflection seems to stem more from life itself than from his work: some are sketches, colored studies for objects or buildings to be made, others are simply drawings with no other purpose than being images. In the very mysterious yet highly expressive appearance of Architettura Monumentale we recognized a tacit potential waiting to be developed, the chance to open a dialogue with Ettore Sottsass and start a collaboration beyond the limits of time and life.

2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo · Cabinet of Curiosities
Ettore Sottsass. Architettura Monumentale

The challenge of the project was to imagine life within this form: starting from the partially defined outer volume we unveiled the invisible facades and entered into the unexplored interior to finally conquer the building as a whole. The key was to introduce an abstract yellow structure of columns and beams in the black shell. The new element has a rigid geometry and yet reacts to the curve of the ceiling constructing a free but interdependent relationship with the vault. Thus the three-dimensional grid is an autonomous element that inhabits the light-coloured interior while preserving the monumental character of the high vaulted space. Looking for a purpose of a design otherwise confined to paper, we turned Sottsass's drawing into a house.

2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo · Cabinet of Curiosities
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo

For the first Biennale in Orléans the project has been built in a reduced version, turning the house into a Cabinet of Curiosity. Architettura Monumentale became a pavilion, a new exhibition space for the city of Orléans that, after a temporary installation in front of the Mediathéque d'Orléans, will be moved and permanently installed in Parc Floral de La Source.

2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo · Cabinet of Curiosities
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo

36 drawings
2A+P/A has curated the first exhibition host by the pavilion. The series of drawings is a visual essay that exposes our idea of architecture in its intimate form. Artworks, images, objects, built or unbuilt architectures, archetypes are indifferently assumed as projects and juxtaposed to create a storyboard of unexpected encounters and unpredictable meanings. Each element of the collection is detached by its own material, spatial and temporal context by being redrawn and therefore re-appropriated to construct a cabinet of obsessions. The drawings are integrated in the architecture by entirely covering the wall, like a fresco that tells a choral story of temptations.
As a whole the drawings represent a body of ideas and meanings without a specific hierarchy or order, using a lens that flattens history in a present moment. As such the contemplation of the past is not just the memory of surpassed and obsolete objects, but rather the construction of an archive of pieces and parts that we can continuously reassemble to produce meaning. Ultimately architecture is not just the production of space but first and foremost a form of knowledge.

2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo · Cabinet of Curiosities
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo

2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo · Cabinet of Curiosities
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo · Cabinet of Curiosities
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo · Cabinet of Curiosities
2A+P/A Gianfranco Bombaci Matteo Costanzo
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