A new museum dedicated to Antonioni designed by Alvisi Kirimoto

The Italian-Japanese design duo has restored the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Ferrara, a historic building that now houses a permanent collection dedicated to the renowned director.

Alvisi Kirimoto designed the restoration of the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Ferrara, dedicated to Michelangelo Antonioni, the renowned film director of Ferrara origin. The project integrates a permanent collection based on the director's work and a series of spaces for meetings, seminars, and temporary exhibitions.

Spazio Antonioni is located in one of the historic buildings at the entrance to Parco Massari, on Corso Porta Mare, between Palazzo dei Diamanti and Palazzo Massari, two of the most famous buildings in Ferrara.

The link between Antonioni and his hometown is underlined by the restoration project, which included the reopening of the original windows in the pavilion to connect the museum's interior directly with the city.

Grey tones and overcast skies are often characteristic of my films. A figurative preference? Not so much, and not only. The fact is that I can shoot more freely when the sun is not shining; it is also a choice dictated by practical considerations. With the sun, the camera angles are obligatory.

Michelangelo Antonioni, Fare un film è per me vivere. Scritti sul cinema

Michelangelo Antonioni, Al di là delle nuvole, set photograph, 1995

Spread over two floors of approximately 300 square metres each, the new layout responds to the curatorial project of Dominique Païni, a French film curator and theorist. The exhibition is divided into thematic sections, from Ferrara and the early years, through the Modern Trilogy and the Red Desert, to the later years. Films, notes, original scripts, photographs, posters, awards, drawings and even Antonioni's paintings are displayed in a more rigorous order on the ground floor, which becomes more fluid on the upper floor.

The Alvisi Kirimoto Studio used the same concept of climax for the chromatic characterisation of the exhibition panels, gradually intensifying the grey used as a coating to evoke the atmospheres sought by the director.

Blow Up, 1966, set photograph. Courtesy Spazio Antonioni

The choice to use strongly tactile finishes, such as resin for the floors and lava stone for the staircase, is combined with leaving technical elements exposed, once again as a tribute to the director of Zabriskie Point by the studio, which had the opportunity to work directly with Antonioni in 2006 for the installation of his paintings at the Il Silenzio a Colori exhibition in Rome: "For the master, the way the painting was hung was as important as the painting itself, and this devotion to detail as well as to the whole, to what is in front of and behind the camera, is what we wanted to translate into architecture."

Opening image: Michelangelo Antonioni during the set of Blow Up. Courtesy Spazio Antonioni

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