Interni at the Pisa Architecture Biennale 2019 Arsenali Repubblicani - Piazza Terzanaia / Via Bonanno Pisano 2 - Pisa

On Saturday 23 November at the Arsenali Repubblicani of Pisa, a master class was held by Ico Migliore on the theme of architecture and water, the red thread of the Biennale di Architettura di Pisa, an event curated by Alfonso Femia. The Biennale is an opportunity to analyze a series of proposals and projects, stimulated by a Call to Action aimed at international design studios. Over 130 professional teams, including some of the most important names on the international architecture scene, have taken part to convey their own viewpoints on the Tempodacqua theme.

A gauge of a certain ferment in international architecture, Tempodacqua sets out to develop global reflections on environmental issues, not in generic, all-inclusive terms, but by selecting the specificity of water as an essential, foundation element in design. Alfonso Femia, the director chosen for this third edition by LP (Laboratorio Permanente per la Città), the organizer of the Biennale, has brought out the relationship between water and time, the effects of climate change on territories, both in situations of excess and in those of scarcity of water, with a focus on architecture’s role.

This context of pursuit of awareness of a critical situation that has an impact on the territory and the environment, on construction and future perspectives, prompts the reflections of Ico Migliore, an architect and founder together with Mara Servetto of the firm Migliore+Servetto Architects.

Apart from the selection of projects on view in an exhibit created by Alfonso Femia, the three projects presented by Ico Migliore underline how architecture can provide a response to increasingly timely issues of usability, sustainability and circularity.

For the Blue Design section of the Biennale, the lecture Time and Metamorphosis investigates the concept of metamorphosis in architecture: openness to crossing, awareness of actions and sustainability form the basis of behaviors we can all put into practice to take stock of the experience of living in a place.

Introduced by Silvia Chiara Lucchesini of LP and moderated by Patrizia Catalano of Interni, Ico Migliore’s lecture narrated three projects of the studio – an exhibit, an installation and a work on an urban scale – all connected by the common denominator of recovery of time on the part of human beings, and a greater sense of respect for the value of natural resources.

With the statement “it should rain inside my projects,” Ico Migliore does not set out to indicate a structural condition of architecture, but to underline two fundamental aspects of every architectural experience: on the one hand, the permeability of the architectural artifact, and on the other the fact that the foremost specificity of space is that of being lived in, experienced. In this dimension of experience, the project has to go beyond the excess of control. It is architecture that has to host and be hospitable at the same time: an architecture “that has to be slowly released over time, like medicine,” providing a series of experiences over a long time span.

As a constant, the concepts expressed in the book by Migliore always return: “The narrative component intrinsic to making architecture comes to terms with the measure of time, that variable of foundation in the design. The increase of speed corresponds to an increase of space of architecture,” Migliore asserts. For a fast, aware architecture, let the debate continue!

(Carlo Biasia)