Rome-based architectural practice 2A+P/A has brought to life a drawing by Italian designer and architect Ettore Sottsass. The artwork in question is a watercolor titled “Architettura Monumentale” completed in 2002, which depicts a black tunnel-shaped building punctured with square windows of varying sizes rendered as an axonometric projection. It sits on an orange plane against a gray backdrop.
As the design team writes on its website, “The building is dark, rough and introverted, lacking an explicit function.” What the two principals Gianfranco Bombaci and Matteo Costanzo aimed to do was reimagine it as a physical space, a difficult task considering that the interiors are only glimpsed through the openings:
The challenge of the project was to imagine life within this form: starting from the partially defined outer volume we unveiled the invisible facades and entered into the unexplored interior to finally conquer the building as a whole.
The result is a pavilion reinterpreted as a “Cabinet of Curiosities” that hews closely to the original painting: the plain structure features a domed ceiling and square openings, with a facade painted black. Inside, the architects created an “autonomous” abstract grid structure painted yellow that reaches up to the vaulted ceiling, occupying the space without overtaking it.
Built for the first edition of the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans in France, it will eventually be moved and permanently installed at the nearby Parc Floral de La Source. What do you think?