Architectural concept for the reconstruction of a Roman Cistern
Place: Italy, Metropolitan City of Naples, Bacoli, Via Piscina Mirabile.
Status: architectural concept (competition).
Client: Roman Reuse.
Architects: Ivan Matveev, Lena Mironova, Adriana Silva Zobacheva.
Great thanks to Mariano de Angelis (@marianodeangelis_photography) for kindly letting us to use his photoes of Piscina Mirabilis in the project!
Contemporary museum is a space for discussion, reflection, discovery, cultural growth, revealing the intellectual potential. It must be emotional and immersive, it should engage and inspire through seeing the diversity of the world.
Contemporary art needs a versatile museum space able to change and adapt depending on the given context. Different expositions and themes seek for a variable space. It’s also an important factor that contemporary museum institutions contribute to the formation and involvement of new groups in the local educational environment, which becomes a multifunctional object and place. All this implies the creation of a mutable structure that can reflect the needs of modern art institutions in an existing building, filled with history and a distinctive atmosphere.
The exterior of the cistern is meant to be a public space, structured by the lifted pathways, leading through the site. A set of benches and amphitheaters is scattered around the path. We decided to make an open bar on the left side of the space to set the attraction point in the corner of the space. There are two large amphitheaters (one with a large temporary cinema screen) and a set of smaller ones for people to talk, discuss, sing songs, dance, and enjoy the different activities in the open air. Like ancient Roman forum or thermae, transformed into a set of communication spaces.
A grid of flat modules is put over the existing set of columns. It fills all the space between the columns and then breaks apart. The modules work as panels at which different multimedia clips are projected which will conduct the visitors to non-planed ways through the exhibitions making the visit always new and unexpected. The structure can be modified over time. The administrative area is on the lifted mezzanine on the left side of the plan.
A giant red bird flies to the sky. As it passes through the holes in the roof, red feathers fall and swirl down in the cistern. They hang over the floor, forming a lifted exposition space.
The main idea is to create a space being art itself via transformable modules able to be shifted throughout the cistern.
Some feathers are hung separately, and some stick to each other, forming a path through space, leading the viewer through the exhibition. Some paths have a start and an end, and some are just like a rock in the ocean, from which one observes the moving space.
The structure consists of three interconnected levels. It forms a system of lifted exhibition spaces. These levels are different in the plan so to create a complex spacial experience and open the voids between them to art installations or performances in the middle of the cistern space.
The lower floor has a set of cafes and reading modules. The central lower part becomes an amphitheater, and a set of separate amphitheaters is created on the stairways leading to the first level. These amphitheaters can hold a set of simultaneous events, thus making the whole space of the gallery an underground cave-like theater, music, or congress hall.