Addressing Motion and Contemplation
In a delicate 18th century context where the materials perfectly balance one another, nothing should be changed, and nothing should be added. The necessity to reconnect the two parts of the building generate then a paradox.
The materials of this project aim to solve it, conceptualizing the diasppereance of architecture through its material consistency. When the architecture creates a physic limit, then the mirror prestige occurs. The idea is to make the added elements disappear, reflecting the existing materials and forms, its one and only recognizability is due to the deformation of the reflected images. In turn, this creates a picturesque effect, related to the the 18th century landscape design.
Who influences you graphically?
I stumbled upon some Paul Rudolph’s axonometric drawings, where nature is represented together with architecture. I then thought it was exactly the type of drawing I wanted to produce.Paul Rudolph, amongst others contemporaries, inspires my graphical work which is then developed with more contemporary tools and methods. Another important influence was given by Mark Dorf, more specifically from some images taken from the series “PATH”.
You talk about the 18th century and Renaissance, where the colours used in paintings were extremely vivid yet delicate. Nonetheless you choose to portray your proposal through a monochromatic approach, why?
I wanted to show the potential of a material which could disappear in nature. I could have used colours too, but nothing as black and white is able to blend everything together without loosing edges and recognisability of forms. The fact that a mirror has no particular colour also influenced me into choosing a black and white palette.
You explore your proposal through axonometric and perspective views, what would be the effect of drawing it in plan? How could this means of drawing be used reveal another layer of the proposal?
It’s all a matter of perception and communication. Being the ramp a simple gesture that doesn’t need any plan view to be understood, I’ve wanted to combine plan and section to be more synthetic and exhaustive at the same time. The ability of axonometric drawings to show both plan and section is a resource that should be more exploited in these type of projects.
What dictated the choice of figures used within the visuals?
Two reasons drove me in this direction. On one hand this project is an utopia because of the abandoned state of the building. Therefore, the project doesn’t come into being for contemporary users, and as such I wanted to use figures that generically referred to the old owners. On the other hand, the dichotomy generated by the new addition and the historic palace was a turning point for that choice. I wanted to represent that contrast also in the drawings by using some famous characters belonging to old 18th century painting.
To what extent might the firm and immobile physical stance of the figures juxtapose with the atmosphere of the proposal?
This project is about motion and contemplation. The structure of the ramp is already expressing through its form and its material the dynamic consistency of nature and its continuous state of flux. The motionless figures wants to show through they disposition the atmosphere of a slow stroll, where you loose the perception of time and you enjoy the benefits of a walk into a beautiful enclosed garden.
Elia Viesi is an Italian student based in Milan. He’s about to complete his master degree in science of architecture at Politecnico di Milano. He’s deeply interested in the research and development of projects involving the interactions between old buildings and new ones.