Unfolding Pavilion 2018 / Little Italy / Venezia / Gino Valle's housing in Giudecca
oblò + atelier Figura/Sfondo + Alessandro Benetti
in collaboration with Volumes Maker Space, Paris
opus incertum is a precarious, unstable portray of the volatile link between the Little Italian Architect and the field of built architecture.
Opus Incertum is a tribute to the way Venice was constructed through the centuries: single architectures, the urban fabric as a whole and the very ground of the city merge into a single built object of unrivalled coherence. Gino Valle’s complex can easily be regarded as a late-modern addition to this same process.
Opus Incertum also questions the Little Italian Architect’s troubled relationship with the actual world of construction. He or she is constantly caught in the crossfire generated by the new normal of a downsized market, increasing competition from interior designers, engineering societies and “geometri” and a generalized lack of cultural and professional recognition. Still, from this same deeply-rooted condition of crisis, which appears to outdistance architects from construction, a resistant attitude might stem.
A well-aware knowledge of the industrial and craftsmanship production informs our daily practice. Such recently born technologies as 3D printing, and many others, together with more traditional techniques, orient our way of thinking and conceiving architecture as a construction, in an anti-ideological and pragmatic interpretation. To us, to allow 3D printing into our practice means to let it be informed by current production, regardless of its background, in order to “costruire”.
A wood trunk, hinting at the typical Venetian “briccola”, stands for analogue craftsmanship, the tradition which every innovation builds on; a round mirror, reflecting its surroundings and dematerializing its support, symbolizes standardised industrial production and functions as the bi-facial pivot between past and future; a reinterpreted 3D printed brick, a product of contemporary digital craftsmanship, is a hybrid object, ancient yet future-oriented, accomplished yet evolving. These are the three components of an ironic, Janus-faced tool, simultaneously useless and multifunctional, which draws at the same time from the separated worlds of objects-as-found, industrial production and digital craftsmanship.
It’s a precarious, unstable connection, as is the volatile link between the Little Italian Architect and the field of built architecture.