Casa Do Quarteirão
Rua D'Água Ponta Delgada, Portogallo - 2016 - In collaboration with Francesco Zorzi
“Casa do Quarteirão” is a project developed within Walk&Talk 2016 and it was born out of the community that lives and works in the neighborhood (Quarteirão), reclaiming a physical space for convivial and collaborative use. Walk&Talk is an annual arts festival based on site specific cultural creation in Azores Islands (PT). Since 2011, it contributed to transform the islands into a laboratory for contemporary and transdisciplinary artistic creation, producing experimental projects, in a permanent dialogue with the territory, the culture and the local community, promoting a favorable environment for sharing and co-creation. We were invited to realize an installation in the core of the neighborhood and to collaborate with NO-ROCKET (Francesco Zorzi an italian visual designer and illustrator based in Amsterdam) that had his intervention on visualizing “O Quarteirão” identity. “O Quarteirão” is a neighborhood close to Ponta Delgada historical city centre, out of the tourist and commercial district, in which public space is completely invaded by parking lots and cars. After a first visit in Ponta Delgada, during a public talk at MIOLO Art Gallery, we chose together with the inhabitants to work in the small Travessa da Rua d’Agôa, to materialize a common square, a place for the community.
The project feature is metaphorically a Viveiro, a collective greenhouse to make “O Quarteirão” flourish and develop spontaneously. At the same time the idea was to re-create the intimacy of a traditional Azorian house. Thus we worked on two elements, creating new inviting entrances to the space: a pavilion to provide a place for people to gather and organize events (Rua Pedro Homem) and a small structure with a tiny terrace (Rua d’ Acoa), to give a cozy and unusual view of the area. Between these structures a new square took shape. “Casa do Quarteirão” program was decided by its own users and was conceived as an open project: the simple building system made out of modular frames, could be adapted and personalized according to several configurations and needs and the various activities that the community wanted to develop.
The structures were built in five days, together with a group of inhabitants, using wood from Cryptomeria japonica, an endemic conifer species that grows in the island.
Iceberg - Perestrello 3.0
Largo Bartolomeo Perestrello, Rome, Italy - 2018
After “Luogo Comune - Perestrello 1.0 - Work-watching” and “Luogo Comune - Perestrello 2.0” we’ve returned to Largo Bartolomeo Perestrello in Marranella area, inside “Municipio V” in Rome. This suspended place is currently a large empty area due to never-completed urban transformations, yet it has a great potential and it is suitable for the most varied spontaneous uses; communities, citizens and local associations daily enrich it with stratified traces and meanings. The square is devoid of toponomastic and takes its name from the adjacent broad. The theme of identity, therefore, is proposed right away as a challenge and work objective. The Iceberg metaphor is a reflection about the neighbourhood’s invisible resources, submerged realities, and development potential, starting from the recognition of what is present and trying to bring out local energies. The objects built during “Iceberg - Perestrello 3.0” workshop have the goal of forming an urban space designed system and being the first infrastructure to foster communities gathering and aggregation in the area. The Iceberg has intervened within the fluxes and the ways of enjoying the square. We built together with twenty students two main temporary architectural elements, one table and one bleacher. Both objects consist of solid wood of silver fir with variable sections. The two elements are visually linked to each other thanks to a floor graphic developed inside the construction workshop and made by a public space ground signage company. The bleacher, which represents the tip of the iceberg, occupies an area of about 25sqm and consists of three concentric levels of 50 cm high per floor. The three floors are connected to each other by steps of 25 cm high. The table, served by two large seats, is the second element of the intervention. Made with the same building technique as the bleacher, it has a 6sqm footprint and a height of 80 cm. Both objects can be enjoyed daily by users and also for organized activities, as meeting venues for discussions, small events and moments of collective socialization. The intervention is designed to be completely reversible and does not substantially alter the context in which it’s inserted.Iceberg project represents a small graft within the vast area of Largo Bartolomeo Perestrello, and it’s part of a wider process. A working table with local associations that joined the initiative has been set up, in order for the intervention to continue and to become a flywheel for local community development. The associations represent a resource and a valuable interlocutor for monitoring and managing the infrastructures through activities that test the square program while keeping it active.
Piazza Boetti, MAXXI Museum, Rome, Italy - 2014 - In the context of Yap MAXXI
8 1⁄2 is a mobile theatre, a machine to experience public space. It investigates the dual nature of public space, as the place of intimacy and elective relationships and in the meantime the preferential territory of event and spectacle. The installation intends to be a reflection about the transition that changes public space from being the background of private encounters and individual moments to being the scene of public events and collective representations. 8 ½ was built in 4 weeks, the construction site became for 2 weeks a workshop open to students from all over Italy. The participant worked on the wooden structures of the arena and on the upcycle process of plastic beer kegs into lampshades for the wall.
8 1⁄2 consists of two complementary elements: the wall and the arena
1. The wall: 8 and 1⁄2 meters high, is built with modular timber frames covered with upcycled beer kegs. It transforms the surrounding space laying down a principal direction and creates a threshold effect dividing the “front” from the “back”. An opening in the structure can be used as access point to the interior space and as stage alternatively facing one side or the other. During the plays, the wall works as scaenae frons, backdrop or technical infrastructure for machines and equipment. A path climbing to an upper level can be used during the shows as a part of the stage or, in the everyday life, as a new point of view over the area.
The LED lighting system works as a display that can show geometrical drawings, graphics, typographic fonts.
2. The arena: it consists in four “relational objects” and a canopy that goes from the wall to a linear system composed by six blocks. The arena is both a theatre, a place addressed to public events and plays, and a square, an architectural device for the daily use of the common space. An accurate shadow study of the canopy allows both shaded and sunny areas during summertime. The wall and the arena work together creating an intimate relational space, an “urban room” where you can enjoy the space together, play, chill or simply stay.