Avatar Architettura, the practice of architects Nicola Santini and Pier Paolo Taddei,designed the museum layout and installations for the new Museo Novecento in Florence which opened in the summer of 2015.
The key challenge for the architects was the need to place plenty of works in highly various settings characterised by compressed size and discontinuous spaces and finishes, despite the limits set by the nature of the historical building (San Paolo Hospital in Piazza Santa Maria Novella in Florence), the restrictions applicable to heritage buildings, the technical and technological policies adopted in the previous restoration project and the limited budget available.
The project was organised around an idea of fluid, continuous space, so that the exhibition space becomes an “element which can be manipulated directly, a medium through which to alter the relationship between the existing volume and the works of art”. The architects designed display elements such as free dividers in the same materials and colours as the surfaces they arise out of, the flooring on the first floor, and the side counter-walls on the upper level which made it possible not to divide the space into compartments.
The continuity of the museum route includes the coloured “outcrops” of “transformative devices” with accessory functions. The architects created a precise colour orientation system in which colours correspond to specific service functions, beginning with the entrance tunnels on the southern side of the cloister: three short iron corridors inserted into colourful distorted rectangles. These three surprising devices mark the start of a trip back in time from the nineties to the early twentieth-century avant-garde movements, according to scientific curator Valentina Gensini.
Design: Avatar Architettura
Location: Florence, Italy
Images courtesy of Avatar Architettura, photo by Pietro Savorelli