Interdisciplinary, stratified, contaminated. We explain what we like about the creative hub housed inside Palazzo Brancaccio here. Spolier: even the coffee, which is special

First of all the location, monumental yet intimate, layered yet coherent, hybrid and contaminated, in a dialogue of references alternating with continuous contrasts, between the historical setting and contemporary design, the sumptuous environments and the rigor of some settings, the light that floods the environments and vivid shades that color living spaces, corridors, thresholds and passages, in a sort of labyrinth that seems enchanted.

We are talking about Contemporary Cluster, the space dedicated to interdisciplinarity and the pollination between art, architecture, photography, design, visual art, sound design, fashion design and much more has opened its new headquarters in Palazzo Brancaccio, a noble palace built in the late nineteenth century and immersed in the greenery of the Esquilino district, an area of Rome that is experiencing a moment of rebirth after long years of decay.

Contemporary Cluster, with over 6,000 square meters, spread over several levels, and the peculiar museum density of Palazzo Brancaccio, will expand its actions in the field of contemporary art, devoting greater attention to research and increasing artistic planning.

A creative hub, cultural and multidisciplinary pole open to the city

Led by Giacomo Guidi, artistic director and curator of contemporary art, and by Giorgia Cerulli, architect and curator of the historical design and applied arts sector, Contemporary Cluster will breathe life into the spaces of Palazzo Brancaccio, alongside Andrea Azzarone's Spazio Field, to bring the city a new cultural and multidisciplinary center, which citizens will be able to re-appropriate and experience on a daily basis.

“We felt the profound need to expand the Contemporary Cluster project by developing the peculiarities that have characterized it since its inception, in greater depth. This new project will be the embodiment of a collective intelligence, based on the cooperation of a community of people able to communicate with each other by overcoming the limits of individual cognition” say Giorgia Cerulli and Giacomo Guidi, founders of Contemporary Cluster.

From the Tube corridor through the bookshop to the café (which is special)

Contemporary Cluster will be a creative hub divided into different sectors, in which each discipline will find the right narrative space: on the ground floor Tube, a long corridor of 130 square meters, devoted to multimedia works and glitch art, accompanies visitors as they move towards the entrance of the exhibition space called the African. Tube features the exhibition Archivio Contemporaneo curated by Visioni Parallele: more than seventy artists will reflect on the concept of archive in a hybrid and alternative narrative path.

The project embraces many creative fields, but not only: excellence is also gustatory and cultural. The African, in fact, also permanently host the blends of Faro – Coffee Specialty, one of Italy’s best roasting companies, and the independent and collectible magazines and books selected by Frab's – a publishing portal and online store.

L'Africano dedicated to young artists

The exhibition space L'Africano, so named because it was once the archive of African historical artifacts of the National Museum of Oriental Art, with its 400 square meters and four rooms dedicated to young artists curated by Giacomo Guidi, has been inaugurated by Semina, an exhibition by Sara Ricciardi (scheduled until November 20, 2021) presenting 38 large-scale sculpture vases inspired by scientific representations of seed enlargements and by the concept of birth, crafted by the artistic director of Ceramiche Rometti, Jean-Christophe Clair, in the company’s historical headquarters.

Semina, the sculpture-vases inspired by the theme of birth created by Sara Ricciardi with Ceramiche Rometti

The eclectic artist and designer - as well as a cultured and lively 'composer of images and words' - Sara Ricciardi reinterprets human rebirth in a unique and original way through the ancient practice of sowing. For the designer, crying is synonymous with planting. The two actions, united by a common and extremely symbolic etymological root (in Italian language), chase each other and are linked continuously in human destiny, taking part in a necessary formative process from which it is impossible to escape. The exhibition space, soundtracked by dj Claudio Fabrianesi, is animated by a landscape made of ceramics and floral compositions created by the floral designer Dylan Tripp.

Read also: the home of Dylan Tripp

Apartamento: a real private residence

Part of the sixth floor of Palazzo Brancaccio will welcome the Apartamento. Designed and assembled by the architect Giorgia Cerulli, the Apartamento, a labyrinthine and colorful space, configured in numerous environments, passages, corridors and thresholds, investigates the modern dimension of living through the dialogue between historical design and leading contemporary brands and designers including A&B Living, Ceramiche Rometti, Diaphan Studio, Di.loer Ceramics, Draga & Aurel, Forma&Cemento, Gi Studio, Medulum, Mentemano, Mobili nella Valle, Moon is the oldest Television, Nortstudio, Ocra Studio, Paradisoterrestre, Oscar Piccolo, Poltronova, Rampinelli Edizioni, Studio Nucleo, Supaform, Tellurico, Testatonda, and Tipstudio.

To inaugurate Apartamento the exhibition Tout Brûle by Luca Casillo (Di.loer Ceramics), on display until 11 December 2021, while the collective of artists Numero Cromatico with Dove tutto inizia brings the experimentation between art and neuroscience inside a Project Room dedicated in which they collect data and carry out neuroscientific experiments on art in collaboration with national and international research groups and universities.

Spazio Field in dialogue with the sumptuous environments

On the noble floor of Palazzo Brancaccio, in a dialogue between the historicity and the sumptuousness of the frescoed and decorated rooms and the experimental proposals, Contemporary Cluster oversees the artistic programming of Spazio Field by Andrea Azzarone with lectures, workshops, live unplugged, presentations of books and magazines.

Several exhibitions exhibited in the new spaces which also house a new lounge area with high-profile catering: Talismano by the painter Alessandro Sarra, Stuck presenting the photographs of Chlorine and Hidden Entourage, a design exhibition by Supaform. Paulina Bebecka, director of PostmastersRoma, curates the cycle of exhibitions The Worlds Within.

Belvedere and contemporary landscape painting for a postmodern Grand Tour

In the Hall of the Caryatids stands Belvedere, a collection of furnishings inspired by the views of a postmodern Grand Tour. Author photos of Italian cities printed (but they seem painted, or rather tattooed) on wooden furniture of fine craftsmanship return a refined - and alienating - intertwining of eras, techniques and suggestions, between historical monuments and contemporary details, between classic echoes and future projections, to be decoded.

From the syntonic and complementary meeting between the designer Luca De Bona and the photographer Massimiliano Tuveri , a wide-ranging project is born, fruit of the union between design and photography. The different forms of expression testify to a renewed use of applied arts.

Developed in a small series but with the intention of evolving over time through new visions and materials, the project inaugurates with a series of storage units inspired by pastiche architectural by Piranesi and the eighteenth-century landscape painting , but which wants to tell the evolutions of the metropolitan landscape.

Each piece of furniture, distinguished by the print of a contemporary view of an Italian city - Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples - , is made of open-pore wood, in order to make the photographic images part of the material itself, like tattoos on the surface. Each piece also reveals a monochromatic nature: each shade responds to a set of visions, memories and suggestions intimately linked to the city to which the furniture in the collection pays homage.

Born around a dialogue, the Belvedere project reveals a deeply choral nature, characterized by an open process involving other expressive figures and forms, represented by the visual design studio VZNstudio, composed by Sonia Mion and Nicola Iannibello, and by the PR and design consultancy studio Dorothy, founded by Elisa Bortesi and Elisa Galli.

Read also: twenty D, a furnishing accessories brand launched by Dorothy

The first furniture of the project was unveiled in preview in the new spaces of Spazio Field, from 15 to 24 October 2021 ; the official presentation, accompanied by the exhibition of the entire furniture collection, was instead staged at EDIT Napoli, the editorial design fair from 29 to 31 October 2021, conceived as a further stop of this unprecedented postmodern Grand Tour dedicated to the promotion of a totally contemporary Italian beauty.

Read also : EDIT Naples, the challenges of editorial design

Cover photo: Numero Cromatico, Dove tutto inizia, inside the Project Room of Palazzo Brancaccio. The exhibition presents a poetic constellation of the Semper Vivi series, a poem generated by an Artificial Intelligence and broken down so as to be switchable and set up in ever new and different ways.