ITALIANS DO IT BETTER # 2
Italian architecture abroad
Projects by: Carlorattiassociati (London), liverani/molteni architetti (Phuket), Studio Archea (Shanghai)
by Luca Molinari and Simona Galateo
"The projects on show reflect the ability of Italian architecture to achieve the highest levels of expression and research. Carlorattiassociati's The Cloud - Olympic Games 2012, London, features a spectacular 120m-high sustainable interactive installation. Liverani/molteni architetti's Rain-Hail Resort in Phuket features a residential and shopping complex in which water is the pivotal element. Studio Archea's UBPA B3-2 Pavilion for Expo 2010 in Shanghai stands out for the no-frills simplicity of its structure and for the fact that it is 90% recyclable and transportable, illuminated and heated without consuming any energy," explains Luca Molinari.
THE PROJECTS ON SHOW
Carlorattiassociati: The Cloud, Olympic Games 2012, London
The Cloud is comprised of a 120-metre high tower that supports a tightly-packed series of bubbles in ETFE plastic. It can be used to create play with light and to display information in real time, for example, weather reports, news and sports results, as well as encourage tourists to walk around and admire the view. It also acts as a substantial energy-collection centre: people can choose whether to walk or cycle up and their energy is then converted into electricity and redistributed, thanks to a process similar to the one featured in hybrid vehicles. This, along with the solar energy harnessed by photovoltaic collector panels located both at the base of the tower and inside the spheres, leads to the achievement of carbon neutrality, thanks to which the Cloud is able to convert all the energy used and make it available again. The project is financed by funds collected at a specially created site that also serves as an interface for those who wish to find out more about the project and finance it, thus making the Cloud a symbol of global ownership.
Carlorattiassociati studio was established in Turin in 2002 and is comprised of two partners - Walter Nicolino & Carlo Ratti, and numerous collaborators. Being involved in the research activities of Carlo Ratti at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the studio's main research themes is combining digital technology with architecture. The studio's projects were shown at the Venice Biennial in 2004. The studio has received several awards and its work has been featured in such international daily newspapers and magazine publications as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Der Spiegel, Discovery Channel, BBC, Domus and Abitare. Its most important projects include the design of 1,000 emergency homes in Sri-Lanka, the expansion of Caffè Trussardi at La Scala in Milan, the development of the Digital Water Pavilion for the Zaragoza Expo in 2008 and various interior design set-ups. In June 2009 the studio was chosen as a finalist in the bid for the design of the new Olympic Tower, the symbol of the London 2012 Olympics.
www.raisethecloud.org - www.carloratti.com
liverani/molteni architetti: Rain-Hail Resort, Phuket
Located on an irregular-shaped plot of land 300 metres from the sea in the expanding tourist location of Bang-tao on the island of Phuket, this complex includes a small restaurant, a lounge, offices, a store and 3 villas with a swimming pool. Its construction is centred on 2 U-shaped courtyards whose outstanding feature is water. The entrance to the complex is via an open portico that leads to the first public courtyard; a narrow route leads to the three villas, which are centred around a communal area that looks out onto the landscape. The shape of the complex echoes the traditional shape of sloped roofs. The geometry of the layout, which adapts to the irregularly-shaped plot, and the 45° angle of the roof slopes result in an expressive, well-developed whole. The development of the complex entails the use of a construction system involving a metal structure that makes for a certain flexibility and rapidity in construction.
liverani/molteni architetti. Andrea Liverani and Enrico Molteni set up the liverani/molteni architetti studio in 1999 with its headquarters in Milan. Andrea Liverani graduated at the Politecnico di Milano, worked between Portugal and Spain and took a Masters degree at the UPC in Barcelona. Enrico Molteni also graduated from Politecnico di Milano, worked in Spain at the Elias Torres / A.J. Martinez Lapeña studio and did a PhD at the UPC in Barcelona. Together they took part in and won several important design bids in Italy and abroad, including the town hall of Seregno, which is currently under construction. On of their many projects, Casa ST, has achieved awards which include the Premio Piranesi 2004 (Slovenia), the Premio Nazionale In/Arch 2005 and the Premio dell'Accademia di San Luca 2006 with the first personal exhibition held in Rome. They have been chosen several times to represent neo-Italian architecture and these occasions have included an invitation to Cornell University, the exhibition in Wonderland and Venice's 10th Biennial on Architecture in 2006 in the Italian Pavilion.
Studio Archea: UBPA (Urban Best Practice Area) B3-2 Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai
The building is, at the behest of its customers, a mere vessel, a rectangular receptacle measuring 78 by 28 metres with a completely uncluttered inside, so as to create a neutral space able to accommodate the set-ups from other cities taking part in the event. Since the work comes under the cooperation plan between the Expo and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, the project has turned what was originally the hypothesis of an industrial shell into a mechanism for diffusing natural light, thus making it an area that is illuminated and heated without energy consumption. The roof is designed as a shed structure and supported by steel beams that have been coated so as to create a sequence of reflective surfaces that diffuse light directly from above. The construction design of the building is such as to allow for its reconversion, recycling, dismantling and reassembly at another site. The inside of the building has been made with dry technologies, which means that over 90% of the components used to build it can be recovered. The outer walls are in a metal framework, clad with silicone fabric panels that transform the building shell into a supple, oscillating surface.
Studio Archea. Laura Andreini, Marco Casamonti and Giovanni Polazzi founded Studio Archea in 1988. In 1999 Silvia Fabi became a partner. The studio's interests and research activities shifted from the countryside to the city, and from buildings to design and, although primarily focused on architecture, the projects ranged from graphics to publishing and the creation of events within the scope of contemporary architectural debate. Studio Archea has taken part in many Italian and international architectural bids and consultations and has received much acclaim and many awards. In 2002 the studio took part in the "Lonely living" extranext event during the VIII International Architectural Exhibition of the Venice Biennial and, again for the 2003 Biennial, it was invited to design the entrance to the 50th edition of the figurative arts section with the travelling exhibition entitled: "The Cord", designed by Archea with C+S Associati. Currently under construction are a large square with shops in Merate in the province of Lecco, a social-educational centre in Seregno, a residential and shopping complex in Tavarnuzze in the province of Florence, the new Cantina Antinori in the village of Bargino in San Casciano Val di Pesa, Florence, the new plant and offices of Perfetti Van Melle in Lainate, Milan, the Arts Tower in Milan and the New residential and shopping complex in Borgo Arnolfo.
Thursday 20th May
from 6.30 p.m.
No entrance charge
EXHIBITION OPENING TIMES
10.00 a.m. - 8.00 p.m.
No entrance charge, open from 20th May to 18th June