The notion of threshold in the work of Carlo Scarpa interpreted by Neri&Hu is at the center of the fourth edition of Studio Visit, a creative and cultural project born from the partnership between Alcantara and the MAXXI in Rome

Six refined thresholds interpreted by the studio Neru&Hu with details in Alcantara. Six architectural landscapes-passages, six material passages to cross, to touch, born from an accurate study, conducted with the cultured and inspired sensitivity that distinguishes the studio, of the work of Carlo Scarpa, one of the greatest authors present in the archive of the MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts.

What ’is Studio Visit

Ten years after the start of the collaboration focused on creative and cultural research, the partnership between Alcantara and the MAXXI in Rome continues with the fourth edition of Studio Visit which focuses on relationship with the masters of the past and those of the present, called to give a personal interpretation of the museum's architectural-design heritage using Alcantara as the main means of interpretation, experimenting with its potential.

Curated by Domitilla Dardi , this year the project sees the interdisciplinary design studio based in Shanghai Neri & amp; Hu confronting Scarpa's architectural poetics.

Read also: Studio Visit in Alcantara: an exhibition on making exhibitions

At the center of Traversing Thresholds the 'threshold'

With Traversing Thresholds, open to the public until March 13, 2022, Neri&Hu builds a cultural bridge between West and East, sensitivity and visions. The authors have identified the Scarpian interpretation in the notion of ‘threshold’, a concept existing in both the Chinese ‘jian’, and in the Japanese ‘ma’, which can be roughly translated as a ‘gap’, ‘space’, or ‘pause’. In an architectural sense, this term is often used to describe a threshold condition, or the physical mediation between two contrasting spatial environments, such as interiority and exteriority, public and private; a state which reappears in the spatial passages of the Italian Master.

See also the Konstantin.Grcic. L'immaginazione al potere exhibition

The spatial passages of Carlo Scarpa reinterpreted by Neri&Hu

The installation conceived by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu reinterprets Scarpa's vision in its central nodes: the invention of detail, the dialogue between full and empty, the creative combination of materials. Precisely on this last point, the presence of Alcantara, with all its versatility, makes the work a point of connection between past and present.

See also the exhibition Nervi in the making by Formafantasma

There is this notion of it being empty, as opposed to something being filled

If you look at it from the perspective of thresholds, this idea of ‘jian’ could be seen as space, or it could be seen as the middle, or the idea of time” explains Lyndon Neri. “This is a space of a gap” Rossana Hu. “It could also be a pause when you think of time, so it's not just space, but it's kind of this abstract notion that is between space and time or between two structural parts. There is this notion of it being empty, as opposed to something being filled, almost like the silence between the notes which make music”.

See also Nanda Vigo's Arch/arcology exhibition

The visitor is called to action

The focal points of this installation lead the observer through six key passages of Scarpa’s architecture: Pivot Plane, Eroded Corner, Inserted Landscape, Floating Datum, Slit Window, Off-Axis. These elements are reflected in some lessons of the Master such as: subtraction from the full, dialogue between the materials, anti-gravity suspension, progressive space prospective, sliding of structural axes. Architecture lessons that interpreted by Neri&Hu generate new space through a regular mesh of intersecting walls in which the six limits are occasions to call the visitor to action and to the unveiling of Scarpa’s sources.

Gaps to cross, permeable architectures to touch

In the six thresholds the boundary is delimited and at the same time open . Clear but fluid, architectural and perspective. Exact and at the same time marginalized. Textured and woven (literally) of different materials, lit by sophisticated sensorial colors. Six thresholds like passages and at the same time crevices and shelters .

The Scarpa threshold reread by Neri & amp; Hu carries within itself the idea of limit and difference, of otherness and passage as through - transition - between inside and outside, known and unknown, present and past, East and West. Not locked doors, but light and yet layered architectures - permeable - that become passage to cross, to touch.

Alcantara: innate sensoriality

The presence of Alcantara, an extraordinary 'construction material' for great design ideas, with all its potential of versatility, tactility and elegance, makes the work a true point of connection between past and present. Used in full color variants, or in different textures - from embossed to laminated - the material becomes the cornerstone of the architecture designed by Neri&Hu and welcomes the public with its innate sensoriality.

The dialogue between contemporary designers and masters of the past is staged in 'studios' open to the public

For each edition of Studio Visit the authors (Nanda Vigo, Formafantasma, Konstantin Grcic and now Neri&Hu) have been invited to dialogue with the work of one or more Masters of the MAXXI’s architecture collection, and to render their own personal vision of it. Each designer has dedicated time to researching the archives, perfectly free to choose any topic or work. The results of their considerations have been presented on various occasions in the museum halls, in a way that resembles an atelier, a "studio" open to the public.

The works of Studio Visit are part of the permanent collection of MAXXI Architettura

In each of the exhibitions, the use of Alcantara was fundamental for its flexibility characteristics, for the ability to interpret the most diverse forms. The three works by Nanda Vigo, Formafantasma and Konstantin Grcic are now part of the MAXXI Architettura permanent collection; the same will apply to the project by Neri&Hu.

A cultural collaboration that gives new value to the archives

Starting from 2011, 48 designers and design studios from all over the world, both established artists and emerging talents, have presented their installations made of Alcantara at the museum, experimenting with the versatility and potential of the material in accordance with MAXXI's research mission.

The partnership between a museum devoted to experimentation and a company open to creativity thus defines a new form of cultural collaboration in the world of art and design, both contemporary and historical. A collaboration, conceived by an authoritative curator, Domitilla Dardi, which gives new readings - a new value - to the archives of the masters. An exemplary collaboration.