FLUID,
Architetti Associati

15-09-2004
"It heightens touch. Or rather it heightens the need to touch," Michele Marchese, a 46 year-old architect with roots in Catania and America, states delightedly as he plays with a large Montblanc pencil.
His latest creation is called Fluid.
One hundred and forty square metre venue - a spectacular music bar featuring DJ sets - opened within a building in Rome which was already renowned in the past: the building in Via del Governo Vecchio which in the 1970s was the home of the most radical feminism and its very committed political-sociological discussions.

The long, curving bar counter - twelve metres stretching back through the venue - is pure material: white river pebbles, smooth and polished, enclosed - but free to move - in a net-like structure shaped like an airplane wing.
Pebbles to be played with , to be caressed while consuming drinks leaning against the bar counter which conceals a technological core made barely visible by white light projecting strange shapes onto the wooden flooring in black-painted Wenge wood.
Contrasting material, then, but also contrasting colours. Slightly softened, in reality, by an ethereal white mist floating, soft and insubstantial, over the whole floor.

Fluid is playful. And each element, object, detail is there to remind you of this. Like the walls opposite the bar counter: straw and mud mixed by hand and poured onto gigantic circular panels slightly detached from the wall by an explosion of light. The objects are playful, but always functional, with a technological core, the beating heart of the conditioning system.
Like the lamps by Catellani&Smith: enormous balls made of shiny wire suspended in mid-air and studded with bright white LEDs. Like the small balls of wire placed on the bar and on the tables. Inviting: you only have to skim your hand over them and they light up. Another light touch and they gently go out.
The real "fun" however, is on the back wall. Spectacular and lit up, it already draws your attention from the threshold: a cascade of blue water, "the essential element of life", suggests Michele Marchese.