This month: Domus 1017

Lucio Fontana at the HangarBicocca, Benno Albrecht on Leonardo Benevolo, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Henley Halebrown, Giulio Iacchetti, Design studio of the Norman Foster Foundation, Cesare Leonardi, Enzo Cucchi, Jacques Jouet’s Paris and the Elzeviro by Riccardo Petrella.

In this issue:

Toward a cultural movement

If the chickens have come home to roost, as indeed they have, then time is running out. Are we interested in the places we live in? Are we interested in our times and how they will help us imagine potential futures? Or better still, are we interested in human lives, ours and other people’s? Do we want to try to set the stage for those lives to be lived to the full and in the best possible way? The editorial by Nicola Di Battista

Domus 1017

Cover: Illustrated interpretation of Concetto spaziale. Attesa by Lucio Fontana, 1964. Water-based paint on canvas, 116 x 81 cm. © 2017. Christie’s Images, London/Scala, Firenze. © Lucio Fontana by SIAE 2017.

Lucio Fontana: Environments

The reconstruction of nine environments and two environmental works by Lucio Fontana at the Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan is an opportunity for us to admire once again some of this artist’s most original and extraordinary installations. Under the meticulous direction of Vicente Todolí, the curators Barbara Ferriani and Marina Pugliese conducted the vast amount of research that allowed for the building of what until today seemed an impossible exhibitional feat. Text by Marina Pugliese

Research as a design project

His strong commitment to architectural design brought Beppe Finessi to explore all the arts during his course, none excluded. Students are encouraged to find their vocation by constructing individual catalogues bound into books that become the necessary basis of their future craft. Text by Beppe Finessi

Teaching architecture in Europe

After Carlo Olmo’s notes on university teaching in Italy, the Spanish architect Francisco Mangado analyses the situation in Europe. The result is a coherent critique of the existing conditions, but it also offers hope for the future, starting with the innovative didactic programme of his new architecture school in Madrid. Text by Francisco Mangado

Giulio Iacchetti: A way of working

Being “a professional amateur,” as he jokingly calls himself, Giulio Iacchetti believes that good design is an act of disobedience, and that a designer’s duty is to give objects dignity.

Three fundamental words for the new Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome

To the philosopher Pietro Montani, the renovated Galleria Nazionale in Rome suggests an original reading of the visitor’s aesthetic experience, which he analyses in three key words: light, rules and spatialisation. Text by Pietro Montani

Leonardo Benevolo: the scandalous revolutionary force of the past

Dedicated to Leonardo Benevolo and his work, the exhibition by Benno Albrecht and Anna Magrin at the Triennale di Milano explores the future of Italy’s cultural and historical heritage as a treasure in need of preservation, in order to deliver it to the next generations and impress a turning point on the misfortunes of the Bel Paese. Text by Benno Albrecht

The elusive identity of Japanese architecture

Quoting Arata Isozaki, the first to have introduced the concept of “Japan-ness”, the curators Frédéric Migayrou and Yuki Yoshikawa have organised a large exhibition at the Centre Pompidou-Metz to explore the special elements that link the creations of the greatest Japanese architects of the postwar period to the cultural specificities of their country. Text by Frédéric Migayrou

Herzog & de Meuron: Berggruen Institute, Los Angeles

Looking to how monastic building types combine places for individual study with areas for community gatherings, the firm Herzog & de Meuron has designed a campus for an American research institute with a broad scope. The crisp architectural solution was accompanied by careful consideration of the natural surroundings Herzog & de Meuron.

The fragile city

The future of the city does not only regard its architecture, urban planning, environmental and territorial engineering, but also the ability to plan and govern change by tackling issues in a dialectic and multidisciplinary way. After all, the city depends on the questions we are capable of asking it. Text by Roberto Vanacore

Paulo Mendes da Rocha + MMBB Arquitetos: SESC 24 de Maio, São Paulo, Brazil

The political commitment of the Brazilian master Mendes da Rocha together with MMBB Arquitetos has taken on architectural form in an exemplary public building in São Paulo’s busy downtown area: a civic piece of work where every storey features great structural and spatial invention.

On the SESC 24 de Maio building

A conversation between Giacomo Pirazzoli and Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

Henley Halebrown: Chadwick Hall, Roehampton, London

Attentive reading of the site; insertion into established historical surroundings; skillful composition of plan and volume; and a refined choice of materials: all are the exemplary lines along which this student housing was designed in South West London.

Design studio of the Norman Foster Foundation: Norman Foster Foundation Pavilion, Madrid

The extension to the Foster Foundation’s seat in Madrid expresses the British architect’s decades-long exploration of structure and materials. Construction details and special finishes make this small pavilion a unique piece of architecture.

Cesare Leonardi: Architecture of life

A substantial retrospective illustrates Cesare Leonardi’s design adventure and eclectic personality: photographer, designer, artist, landscape designer, urban planner and more are the different guises of his work as an architect. Brilliant concepts in his early career brought him to the international design scene in the 1970s. Text by Andrea Cavani and Giulio Orsini

Cesare Leonardi: Solids

Text by Cesare Leonardi

Enzo Cucchi: Fountain of the Two Suns, Ancona

The use of what was already there seems to have been the thinking behind the fountain added by the artist to the splendid setting of the port of Ancona, presented here in the masterly words of Francesco Merlo, who describes its landscape, imagery and fa-ti-ca. Text by Francesco Merlo

Jacques Jouet’s Paris

Text by Jacques Jouet

Elzeviro: In the name of humanity

The new “tables of the law” imposed by the globalization of the dominating economy (made up of market, finance and production) have disintegrated our living together on this planet and imposed a reification of all forms of life. Text by Riccardo Petrella

Rassegna: Construction systems

Edited by Centro Studi Domus