Alejandro Aravena, Stefano Boeri, Mario Botta, Alberto Ferlenga, Grafton Architects/Yvonne Farrell + Shelley McNamara, Joseph Grima, Stefano Guidarini, Franco La Cecla, Gabriele Mastrigli, Enrico Morteo, Antony Moulis, Anh-Linh Ngo, Steve Piccolo, Carme Pinòs, Franco Raggi, Mauro Sullam, Pier Paolo Tamburelli, Cino Zucchi.
These are the names of the 18 Italian and foreign architects, historians, critics, review editors and students, who have been invited to participate to the exhibition L’ARCHITETTURA CHE PIACE© / THE ARCHITECTURE YOU LIKE© (curated by GIZMO) at MAXXI in Rome. They have been asked to identify a building considered to be “positive” and built between 2000 and 2010. They were also asked to express the reasons behind their choices.
Corresponding to the 18 questions, there are 18 seats, located between the building by Zaha Hadid and the MAXXI BASE where the projects are presented as large red steal books that can be easily read passing-by the courtyard.
Inside the MAXXI BASE, a large red wall displays the pictures of the architectures of the last ten years that the visitors can choose to “like”. They select whether they like it from an encompassing catalog of images presented by GIZMO. Participants can also select their preferred architecture by downloading it from the Internet and printing it from special computer stations, or bring an image with them from elsewhere. The public is invited to hang on the wall their favorite architecture, and leave a brief comment that supports the reasons for their decision.
THE ARCHITECTURE YOU LIKE© allows the public to participate and comment on architecture that they enjoy. It is important to value and understand what people’s preferences and commentary one has towards towards architecture so that future spaces can be created with individual’s perspectives in mind. The exhibition is a two way communication between the architects and the public. This dialogue should be taken seriously and the approach continued.
Architecture can be a very public experience. It is noteworthy that the public’s voice was listened to and THE ARCHITECTURE YOU LIKE© exhibition provides a channel of communication to address individual’s commentary, and rather than to simply tell, the exhibition also listened.
Written by Justin Allen and Brunella Angeli.
Below is a critical text by Alberto Ferlenga on Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Brembo Technical Center, Bergamo, Italy. Presented at the THE ARCHITECTURE YOU LIKE©
It is difficult to judge architecture when everything is possible. It is hard to single out something different as an alternative to the “novelties” one finds in such abundance, something that can be distinguished for its evident quality.
Then, within a few years, the picture has changed: many recent works display early aging and many conditions which these emerged from are no longer acceptable. What is the sense of using immoderate resources in order to make immoderate works sustainable? Why disfigure the nature of a place in order to have to amend undesirable consequences?
Actually, a crisis is enough to alter the picture of compatibility and sensitivity as well as to allow matters considered to be out-of-date to emerge. In this way, the capability to interpret complex architectural spaces that take into consideration surrounding events would seem to be once again worth taking into account as important ethical information and common sense. Throughout most recent years, very few works that have been built propose something new with respects to all this. I’ll give you an example: Kilometro Rosso by Jean Nouvel. The element that most characterizes this work is, of course, the long red metal wall that stretches, for about a kilometer, parallel to the Milan-Venice motorway, giving rise to a brief yet significant clear cut interlude setting it apart from the succession of non-descript prefabricated buildings. The reasons for which I have chosen this work refer to it being successfully inserted into one of the most disrupted landscapes but above all for its capability to interpret nature, rendering an aesthetically effective oeuvre that is able to attribute value to a “lost” place while indicating, at the same time, a repeatable model.
The size of the Kilometro Rosso is compared to that of the motorway, the long surface interprets the uninterrupted theory of warehouses, the bright color compresses meters of signs, the car park in the foreground makes the staticity of the parked cars interact with the flow of those which are speeding down the motorway. Everything that the work proposes is generated from something that already exists, confirming that urban “genericity” remains so only until the moment in which someone interprets it rendering its intrinsic qualities both visible and acceptable.