Nature Meets Architecture
Eleonora Santucci in collaboration with Stefano Sartori
We started from the idea of Frank Lloyd Wright: the architecture must be a combination of elements, it has to be at the same time a cave and a tent. We worked on two different main themes: the light and the heaviness, trying to link two different ways of creating architecture.
Firstly, we studied Angelo Mangiarotti’s projects, the substance and the material, and after the airiness of Yunia Ishigami.
Landscape is not simply a scenery, it is also felt by people and by architecture too, so we decided to include our pavilion in the complexity of the site, with the existing nature and in communication with it. The pavilion modifies itself when it meets a tree. It is an organic structure that develop itself and grows within the landscape.
Who influences you graphically?
Since our early studies, we collected a wide range of images which have inspired us, from the most famous, to the so-called anonymous. If we had to talk specifically we can mention influences from early works by Giorgio De Chirico, the visionary collages of Kurt Schwitters and the representations of flourishing nature by Henri Rousseau. Merging together a vivid landscape and a concrete structure for us was like putting together the bright colors of a naturalistic painting of the XIX century and the accuracy of a black and white sketch of a contemporary architect, like Grafton or Kersten Geers and David Van Severen.
You chose to represent your proposal through all means of representation with the exception of the axonometric, why so?
The project develops itself within the horizontal dimension: it almost occupies the totality of the area in length and it works together with the ground, modifying the existing slopes and becoming one single thing with it. The plan and the section are the most meaningful tools for the communication of this concept.
How do you graphically emphasize the idea of the structure developing along and merging into the landscape?
The structure is shaped through the encounter with the existing nature, it ‘opens itself’ when it meets a tree. We made the environment overcome the building in different parts: in that way the pavilion creates a strong relationship with the site. One is indispensable of the other.
How did the idea of architecture as a tent/cave influence the materiality of the proposal?
We decided to leave the pavilion to its rough materiality: with its concrete structure exposed it has become like a shelter, a cave, lost in the natural surroundings. Its strong presence is sometimes broken by openings in the ceiling. Openings which allow for the filtering of light and establish an evanescent atmosphere. For this we studied Ishigami’s way of using different element densities in order to reproduce paths made of light. In that sense we have an architecture that is at the same time a cave and a tent.
You talk about architecture which is felt, however the people you feature in your visuals don’t seem to interact with the structure but on the other hand appear from a distant era and seem to have been casually dropped on a drawings, why so?
This architecture does not belong to a particular age, so it is represented as if it had always been there. It is a pure composition of space that is not linked to specific functions or specific users, so we used people from a different era to highlight this idea.