YAP MAXXI 2014
Young Architects Program
Corner D and Spazio YAP
Every year an young architecture studio presents an installation hosting summer events and offering the public of the museum an area for relaxation.
An international jury has chosen, from a shortlist of five finalists, the winning project for YAP MAXXI 2014, the fourth edition of the competition: the installation 8½ by the Rome-based studio orizzontale: a wall eight and a half metres high, a portable theatre, a machine for inhabiting the public space that will accompany visitors from June and throughout the summer period.
The exhibition features the models of the other four short-listed projects from the Italian edition. It also presents the entire YAP – Young Architects Program 2014 through images of the winning and short-listed projects from MoMA/MoMA PS1, MMCA and Costructo accompanied by statements from the respective organizers and curators, offering visitors the possibility to compare the different approaches to the theme from the four corners of the globe.
8½ is a portable theatre, a machine for inhabiting the public space, by the Rome-based studio orizzontale.
It is a reflection on landscape that transforms public space from a backdrop to private encounters and individual moments to a setting for public events and collective representations.
The installation is composed of two complementary elements: a crossable wooden wall eight and a half metres high , that represents a “threshold” reorganizing the museum’s open space. The wall is completely covered on one side with plastic spheres deriving from the recycling of organic beer containers. In addition the stage platform and the covered arena present seating and water features.
The arena is both a theatre, a place destined for public events and performances, and a piazza, an architectural device for the everyday use of public space.
While designed specifically for Piazza Alighiero Boetti, it has been designed to be able to be easily dismantled and transported and adaptable to new sites with flexibility and intelligence.
orizzontale (Jacopo Ammendola, Giuseppe Grant, Juan Lopez Cano – Cardeña, Margherita Manfra, Nasrin Mohiti Asli, Roberto Pantaleoni, Stefano Ragazzo) is a collective of architects who conduct operational research into the process of reactivating urban waste. Starting with the interception of sites, ideas and materials expelled by the city’s productive cycle, orizzontale activates collaborative processes through temporary interventions and minimal self-built architecture, during which the material and immaterial residues mutually restore meaning to one another.
Bologna, Italy and Madrid, Spain
The installation takes its name from its component module: the picnic table, a simple element evoking spatiality, the summer and conviviality. The table repeats to become at once structure and monument, usable, scenographic space. Scattered amongst the table are a number of hollows of standardized dimensions containing grass, water, walkable areas and sunshades, typical elements of the picnic experience that satisfy the museum visitors’ need for shade, seating, relief from the heat and areas for relaxation. During the events, the installation becomes an area capable of providing the ideal setting for any kind of show.
Five masks inspired by Italian theatrical comedy tradition, in particular the characters of Ettore Petrolini, appear on the MAXXI piazza as ruins in a contemporary industrial landscape. Made from wooden ribs and covered with soft polyurethane, the objects rest on a base covered with construction detritus and waste treated and reduced to a grain with a strong materiality and chromatic characterisation. Their diverse dimensions and inclinations suggest different uses according to the various types of audience and time of day: during the day, the concavities become soft structures on which one may lie down, sit or rest, at night instead the illuminated objects are transformed into great moons fallen into the piazza and settings and backdrops for the museum’s summer events.
A flying carpet composed of helium- and cold air-filled balloons spreads across the piazza becoming object, space and landmark. Distinguished by section and height, the individual “pixels” of the installation constitute a topography that succeeds in creating areas for relaxation and play on the ground and becoming a provider of shade and a marker at its highest points. Scattered amongst the fluctuating spheres, a number of strips of water multiply and reflect the composition while offering visitors relief from the heat. One of these sheets of water transforms into a solid and reflective material, configuring the space for the stage and transforming the entire installation into an exuberant theatrical setting. At night, the balloons are illuminated , transforming the installation into a luminous surface, a setting that can take on diverse colours and itself become a source of entertainment.
The installation is double-faced, one internal and one external, generated by a frame delimiting the two dimensions. On the steps of the piazza, a thin coloured circus-like canopy offers visitors a comfortable, and attractive space. The shaded area houses a stage for the events and an area for relaxation, play and relief from the heat, thanks also to the presence of water features. Beyond the frame, the great luminous script visitors see as they enter the piazza overlooks the scene like an immense billboard. Good News becomes an iconic signal and an unexpected message that subverts visitors’ expectations: while public space is generally constellated by prohibitions and alarming signs, in this case the spectator is welcomed with a positive and encouraging message.