Current Issue: Domus 1012

Domus 1012

Cover: graphic interpretationof the sketch by Ettore Spalletti for the Chapel at Villa Serena, Città Sant'Angelo, Pescara. © Ettore Spalletti

Editoriale: On our profession

Continuing our reflections on architectural design, we turn this time to the subject of our profession. We have deliberately waited to talk about this aspect only now, instead of at the outset. This is because, after describing two stages of our work that we have called awareness and imagination, the practices, rules and customs of our profession are so compelling, precise and peremptory that they cannot be confronted at once, headlong.

Sculpture and technology

This British designer offers Domus a preview of the contents of the important exhibition that the Centre Pompidou is dedicating to his work: not a retrospective, but the opportunity to observe his body of work immersed in a display designed to interconnect with the “exposed industrial truth” of the building by Rogers and Piano, 40 years later.

The burda workshop

A teaching collaboration between Christian Kerez and Smiljan Radic at the ETH Zurich led to an experimental workshop lasting one term, for which projects were made with wondrous spatial configurations, based on the design and assembly principles of Burda sewing patterns.

Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan

The director of the oldest Italian art academy describes how the 18th-century educational model has evolved into a modern conception, where thought is related to doing. He also explains how constant contact between past, present and future allows the school to have keen attention for contemporary training by blending the school’s original courses with new curatorial sections.

The Adriatic

In homage to this recently deceased Slavic intellectual, we present a conference held by the great Predrag Matvejevic at the Gabriele D’Annunzio University of Pescara Department of Architecture in May 2009 as part of the convention “Trans-Adriatic Identity” on a subject of relevant topicality to which he dedicated years of research.

Create a system and listen to all areas of Italy

The new president of FederLegno Arredo takes stock of Italy’s furniture and building business, made up of almost 3,000 companies that need to become a network now more than ever. He also gives an overview of the revamped organisation of the federation, now ready to focus on listening and exchanging ideas.

SaloneSatellite 20 years of new creativity

Previewed here by its curator, the exhibition on the event founded by Marva Griffin features work by the many creators who sought to bring new ideas to design. Each year has seen a diverse variety of offerings, because the SaloneSatellite has never been a place for uniformity.

Totò and contemporary art

Fifty years after the death of Antonio De Curtis, and on the occasion of the large exhibition celebrating him, Achille Bonito Oliva remembers the Socratic method applied by the Neapolitan comedian to contemporary art, condensable in the lapidary phrase a prescindere (“regardless”).

Memoir from the secret archive of a gallery owner

Posing as the gallery owner Mario Pieroni, the film director Ferdinando Vicentini Orgnani tells Domus his amazing story, from his first space in an old prison in Pescara to the gallery on Via Panisperna in Rome, which he closed after 22 years to seek “new paths, new forms and new stimuli”.

Why design exhibitions?

In the design of displays for exhibitions, the architect must establish a non-neutral relation of empathy with the pieces to be shown, so that his “art of exhibiting” can make the temporary event settle into visitors’ memory: Francesco Venezia describes his position regarding this delicate field of design.

Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona

Conceptually inspired by rationalisation criteria regarding space, function and utilities, the new building by Aurelio Galfetti is a clear manifestation of his pragmatic and concrete approach to architectural design. For years committed solidly to the training of new architects, the enthusiastic former director of the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio remains a reference point in Canton Ticino.

The politics of architecture

Carlo Melograni maintains that the gap between politics and architecture today is causing very serious damage, which is particularly evident whenever the country is hit by natural calamities. He recommends a reconstruction of that vital connection as indispensable to the creation of a better environment for human life.

Feltrinelli Foundation, Milan

Structural repetition and abstract form are core themes of the architectural design in this major urban-scale project.  The meticulous composition, proportions and formal allusions to Aldo Rossi’s imagery make this a very Milanese design.

On the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation

Welcome centre and office building, Shanghai, China

The key building on the new campus of a well-known Swiss pharmaceutical firm provides food for thought on the fusion of traditions and cultures. In it, materials, colours and construction methods come together in a carefully thought-out design typical of the London office.

Chapel and wake rooms, Città Sant’Angelo, Pescara

To restore the functional and architectural unity of the chapel and mortuary of a private hospital, the architect Patrizia Leonelli and the artist Ettore Spalletti worked side by side, probing the project to make it grow in width, in depth and in magic, aiming for the artwork to not be simply exhibited, but for it to interact with the space so as to transform it into painting and sculpture.

The welcoming light of beauty

Prophecy of the Italian “New domestic landscape”

On the occasion of the large retrospective opening this month at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to celebrate the centennial of the great American photographer Irving Penn, we present here a series of portraits of architects and their homes he took in 1948 for Vogue, immortalising the creators and the work of the postwar “Milanese school”, a term coined by Ernesto Nathan Rogers in the article accompanying the photographs, published in 1949.

Milan, design renaissance

Design for the five senses

Over 25 years after his first encounter with Domus, Marc Newson talks about his way of working, the main trait of which has always been a bodily approach. Technological knowledge, wrought shapes and meticulous surface definition give objects by the known Australian designer a strong affective and sensorial quality.

Antonio Monestiroli’s Milan

Elzeviro: “Living in the treatment”

For people with psychic disorders, it is important that we design a place for treatment and a way of living that incorporates the social dimension of the illness, a place that is the opposite of isolation and exclusion.

Rassegna: Furniture