Il fe­li­ce pro­get­to di Da­vid Chip­per­field per la Royal Aca­de­my of Arts /

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The ma­ster­plan for the Royal Aca­de­my of Arts by Da­vid Chip­per­field.

In­sie­me scuo­la e mu­seo, la Royal Aca­de­my of Arts ri­pen­sa fi­nal­men­te i suoi spa­zi com­ples­si nel cuo­re di Lon­dra con un fe­li­ce pro­get­to del­lo stu­dio DA­VID CHIP­PER­FIELD. E ce­le­bra i pri­mi 250 an­ni dell’isti­tu­zio­ne apren­do­si di più all’ar­chi­tet­tu­ra. Che ora ha un cu­ra­to­re, lo spa­gno­lo

Gon­za­lo Her­re­ro De­li­ca­do The Royal Aca­de­my of Arts - whi­ch is bo­th a school and a mu­seum - is fi­nal­ly ove­rhau­ling its com­plex spa­ces in the heart of Lon­don th­rou­gh a ma­ster plan dra­wn up by the Da­vid Chip­per­field of­fi­ce. This is al­so a ce­le­bra­tion of the in­sti­tu­tion’s fir­st 250 years whi­ch will see an ope­ning to ar­chi­tec­tu­re. The cu­ra­tor is the Spa­niard Gon­za­lo Her­re­ro De­li­ca­do

CI VO­LE­VA IL TOC­CO LIE­VE DI DA­VID CHIP­PER­FIELD per ve­ni­re a ca­po di una sfi­da ar­chi­tet­to­ni­ca com­ples­sa co­me quel­la del­la Royal Aca­de­my of Arts di Lon­dra. L’equi­li­brio ana­li­ti­co del mae­stro in­gle­se e la sua os­ses­sio­ne per il con­trol­lo e la cu­ra dei par­ti­co­la­ri – do­ti am­pia­men­te di­mo­stra­te nei re­stau­ri ber­li­ne­si di Neues Mu­seum e Neue Na­tio­nal­ga­le­rie – si sal­da­no in lui a un’at­ti­tu­di­ne “gen­ti­le” che ten­de a evi­ta­re i gran­di ge­sti a fa­vo­re di un più fa­ti­co­so la­vo­ro di ri­cu­ci­tu­ra e ri­let­tu­ra di ciò che già esi­ste. La sua so­lu­zio­ne a “l’enig­ma Royal Aca­de­my” ar­ri­va nel 2008, do­po due con­cor­si an­da­ti a vuo­to (uno dei qua­li ave­va vi­sto vin­ci­to­re un im­po­nen­te pro­get­to di co­per­tu­ra de­gli spa­zi aper­ti, in qual­che mo­do si­mi­le a quel­lo di Fo­ster per il Bri­ti­sh Mu­seum). E pro­ba­bil­men­te Chip­per­field è riu­sci­to a fa­re brec­cia in que­sta isti­tu­zio­ne dal­la ge­stio­ne com­pli­ca­ta – a de­ci­de­re tut­to in mo­do THE LIGHT TOU­CH OF DA­VID CHIP­PER­FIELD isju­st­what­wa­snee­ded­to­deal wi­th as com­plex an ar­chi­tec­tu­ral chal­len­ge as that of the Royal Aca­de­my of Arts in Lon­don. The En­gli­sh ar­chi­tect’s ana­ly­ti­cal poi­se and his ob­ses­sion wi­th con­trol and de­tail – cha­rac­te­ri­stics am­ply de­mon­stra­ted in his re­sto­ra­tions of the Neues Mu­seum and Neue Na­tio­nal­ga­le­rie in Berlin – co­me to­ge­ther he­re to sha­pe a “gen­tle” ap­proa­ch that tends to shun grand ge­stu­res in fa­vour of a mo­re la­bo­rious ef­fort of re­pair and rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of what al­rea­dy exists. His so­lu­tion to the “Royal Aca­de­my puzz­le” ca­me in 2008, af­ter two com­pe­ti­tions had fai­led to pro­du­ce an ac­cep­ta­ble re­sult (one of them had been won by an im­po­sing plan to co­ver the open spa­ces in a man­ner si­mi­lar to Fo­ster’s de­si­gn for the Bri­ti­sh Mu­seum). Chip­per­field suc­cee­ded in ma­king a break­th­rou­gh wi­th the com­pli­ca­ted ma­na­ge­ment of this in­sti­tu­tion – all de­ci­sions are ta­ken

col­le­gia­le è un board di 80 tra ar­ti­sti e ar­chi­tet­ti – pro­prio in vir­tù del­la sua gran­de ca­pa­ci­tà di ascol­to, me­dia­zio­ne e ri­nun­cia a stu­pi­re con ef­fet­ti spe­cia­li. Ma ve­nia­mo al te­ma. Ac­ca­de­mia d’ar­te e in­sie­me gal­le­ria espo­si­ti­va, l’isti­tu­zio­ne vie­ne fon­da­ta nel 1768 da Gior­gio III, e dal 1867 si in­se­dia a due pas­si da Pic­ca­dil­ly Cir­cus in un’ex re­si­den­za pri­va­ta in sti­le pal­la­dia­no dal sa­po­re del­la vil­la di cam­pa­gna, co­strui­ta ai tem­pi in cui qui si te­ne­va la fie­ra di May Fair. Que­sta se­de ori­gi­na­ria, che è Bur­ling­ton Hou­se, vie­ne am­plia­ta nel 2001 con l’ac­qui­si­zio­ne di 6 Bur­ling­ton Gar­dens, una pro­prie­tà con­fi­nan­te sul la­to del giar­di­no, edi­fi­ca­ta nel 1860, che fi­no ad al­lo­ra ave­va ospi­ta­to il Mu­seo Et­no­gra­fi­co. A quel pun­to fi­nal­men­te la Royal Aca­de­my gua­da­gna lo spa­zio ne­ces­sa­rio al­le sue due at­ti­vi­tà pa­ral­le­le, cre­sciu­te nel tem­po per im­por­tan­za, ma ciò che man­ca è un pro­get­to ca­pa­ce di tra­sfor­ma­re i due edi­fi­ci – con re­la­ti­ve su­per­fe­ta­zio­ni che nel tem­po si era­no “man­gia­te” qua­si per in­te­ro il giar­di­no – in un uni­co com­ples­so or­ga­ni­co e fun­zio­na­le. Qua­si una mis­sion

im­pos­si­ble se si con­si­de­ra­no la va­rie­tà di am­bien­ti e di ar­ti­co­la­zio­ni su più li­vel­li del­le due fab­bri­che e la ne­ces­si­tà di ot­tem­pe­ra­re a vin­co­li sto­ri­co-ur­ba­ni­sti­ci se­ve­ri. Chip­per­field af­fron­ta la spi­no­sa que­stio­ne pun­tan­do su un per­cor­so as­sia­le che col­le­ga i due pa­laz­zi «fi­si­ca­men­te e spi­ri­tual­men­te», in a col­le­gial man­ner by a board of 80 ar­tists and ar­chi­tec­ts – pre­ci­se­ly thanks to his great ca­pa­ci­ty for li­ste­ning and me­dia­tion and his re­luc­tan­ce to go in for stri­king spe­cial ef­fec­ts. But what about the con­text. This in­sti­tu­tion – whi­ch is bo­th an aca­de­my of art and an ex­hi­bi­tion gal­le­ry – was foun­ded by Geor­ge III in 1768 and sin­ce 1867 has been lo­ca­ted in a 17th-cen­tu­ry Pal­la­dian-sty­le pri­va­te re­si­den­ce wi­th the fla­vour of a coun­try hou­se ju­st a sto­ne’s th­row from Pic­ca­dil­ly Cir­cus, whi­ch was built at a ti­me when the May Fair used to be held in the area. This buil­ding, Bur­ling­ton Hou­se, was ex­pan­ded in 2001 wi­th the ac­qui­si­tion of 6 Bur­ling­ton Gar­dens, an ad­joi­ning pro­per­ty on the gar­den si­de built in 1860 that up un­til then had hou­sed the Mu­seum of Man­kind. At that point the Royal Aca­de­my fi­nal­ly gai­ned the spa­ce nee­ded for its two pa­ral­lel ac­ti­vi­ties, who­se im­por­tan­ce has gro­wn over ti­me, but what was still lac­king was a pro­ject ca­pa­ble of tur­ning the two buil­dings – wi­th the re­la­ti­ve ad­di­tions that had gra­dual­ly “ea­ten up” al­mo­st all of the gar­den – in­to a sin­gle or­ga­nic and func­tio­nal com­plex. This was a kind of im­pos­si­ble ta­sk if we con­si­der the va­rie­ty of spa­ces and ar­ti­cu­la­tions on mo­re than one le­vel and the need to re­spect the strict plan­ning con­strain­ts for bo­th li­sted buil­dings. Chip­per­field has tac­kled the thor­ny que­stion by crea­ting an axial rou­te to link them “phy­si­cal­ly and spi­ri­tual­ly”, as he pu­ts it, get­ting the gems of the per­ma­nent

chip­per­field è riu­sci­to a fa­re brec­cia in que­sta isti­tu­zio­ne in vir­tù del­la sua gran­de ca­pa­ci­tà di ascol­to, me­dia­zio­ne e ri­nun­cia a stu­pi­re con ef­fet­ti spe­cia­li CHIP­PER­FIELD SUC­CEE­DED IN MA­KING A BREAK­TH­ROU­GH WI­TH THIS IN­STI­TU­TION THANKS TO HIS GREAT CA­PA­CI­TY FOR LI­STE­NING AND ME­DIA­TION AND HIS RE­LUC­TAN­CE TO GO IN FOR STRI­KING SPE­CIAL EF­FEC­TS

sot­to­li­nea lui, fa­cen­do dia­lo­ga­re i te­so­ri del­la col­le­zio­ne per­ma­nen­te (che in­clu­de il Ton­do Tad­dei di Mi­che­lan­ge­lo) con le mo­stre tem­po­ra­nee e le au­le-la­bo­ra­to­rio per i 54 stu­den­ti del po­st-gra­dua­te trien­na­le. «Pri­ma la scuo­la oc­cu­pa­va il pia­no in­fe­rio­re e le gal­le­rie quel­lo su­pe­rio­re», spie­ga il Chief Exe­cu­ti­ve dell’ac­ca­de­mia Char­les Sau­ma­rez Smi­th. «Og­gi, gra­zie a un’idea ge­nia­le del cu­ra­to­re Adrien Gar­dè­re, che ha ri­pen­sa­to le Gal­le­rie per­ma­nen­ti in oc­ca­sio­ne del­la ri­strut­tu­ra­zio­ne fir­ma­ta Chip­per­field, la col­le­zio­ne si esten­de in tut­to l’edi­fi­cio. Gal­le­rie e scuo­la si in­trec­cia­no». Ol­tre al pas­sag­gio cen­tra­le, che at­tra­ver­sa il giar­di­no sot­to for­ma di pon­te su­per-con­tem­po­ra­neo, il pro­get­to ve­de la ri­col­lo­ca­zio­ne dell’au­di­to­rium li­gneo a se­mi­cer­chio da 260 po­sti, il re­stau­ro di al­cu­ne sa­le espo­si­ti­ve e nuo­vi spa­zi per col­lec­tion (whi­ch in­clu­des Mi­che­lan­ge­lo’s Tad­dei Ton­do) to en­ter in­to con­ver­sa­tion wi­th the tem­po­ra­ry exhibitions and the lec­tu­re halls and work­shop for the 54 stu­den­ts of the th­ree-year po­st-gra­dua­te cour­se. As the chief exe­cu­ti­ve of the aca­de­my Char­les Sau­ma­rez Smi­th ex­plains: “Be­fo­re the school oc­cu­pied the lo­wer floor and the gal­le­ries the up­per one. To­day, thanks to the cu­ra­tor Adrien Gar­dè­re, who has ta­ken a new look at the Per­ma­nent Gal­le­ries du­ring re­no­va­tion car­ried out by Chip­per­field, the col­lec­tion ex­tends all over the buil­ding. The gal­le­ries and school are in­tert­wi­ned.” In ad­di­tion to the cen­tral pas­sa­ge, whi­ch runs th­rou­gh the gar­den in the form of a su­per-con­tem­po­ra­ry brid­ge, the de­si­gn has seen the re­lo­ca­tion of the se­mi-cir­cu­lar 260-seat woo­den au­di­to­rium, the re­sto­ra­tion of so­me ex­hi­bi­tion rooms and the crea­tion

book­shop, caf­fè e ri­sto­ran­te. Mas­si­ma cu­ra in tut­ti gli am­bien­ti nel­la scel­ta di ma­te­ria­li e to­na­li­tà. Le pa­re­ti e vol­te ori­gi­na­li di mat­to­ni gial­li del pia­no se­mi-in­ter­ra­to so­no sta­te leg­ger­men­te sbian­ca­te per ot­te­ne­re un’at­mo­sfe­ra astrat­ta; i pa­vi­men­ti di pie­tra di Edim­bur­go e par­quet di ro­ve­re so­no sta­ti con­ser­va­ti e col­le­ga­ti tra lo­ro do­ve ser­vi­va da su­per­fi­ci “ter­raz­zo” di un gri­gio nu­vo­la (for­ni­te dall’azien­da ita­lia­na Ag­glo­te­ch). So­no nuo­vi i gran­di por­ta­li ar­cua­ti a dop­pia an­ta co­lor la­va­gna che col­le­ga­no il per­cor­so as­sia­le al­le sa­le, e le lam­pa­de a so­spen­sio­ne in to­na­li­tà bron­zo, di­se­gna­te da Chip­per­field e rea­liz­za­te da Via­biz­zu­no (al­tro or­go­glio ita­lia­no). Un’ul­ti­ma no­vi­tà ri­guar­da lo spa­zio in più da­to all’ar­chi­tet­tu­ra. «A set­tem­bre inau­gu­ra una per­so­na­le de­di­ca­ta a Ren­zo Pia­no», spie­ga il neo no­mi­na­to Ar­chi­tec­tu­re Pro­gram­me Cu­ra­tor spa­gno­lo Gon­za­lo Her­re­ro De­li­ca­do. «Ol­tre al­la mo­stra por­tan­te an­nua­le ci sa­ran­no al­tre espo­si­zio­ni pen­sa­te per da­re vi­si­bi­li­tà ai pro­fes­sio­ni­sti più gio­va­ni». Si par­te con

In­vi­si­ble Land­sca­pes (fi­no al 4 mar­zo 2019) a cu­ra del­lo stu­dio Ma­io di Bar­cel­lo­na. Te­ma: co­me la tec­no­lo­gia di­gi­ta­le sta tra­sfor­man­do le no­stre esi­sten­ze e i no­stri spa­zi. ○ of new spa­ces for a book­shop, ca­fé and re­stau­rant. Great ca­re has been ta­ken over the choi­ce of ma­te­rials and sha­des of co­lour in all the set­tings. The ori­gi­nal yel­low brick walls and vaul­ts on the lo­wer floor ha­ve been lighte­ned slightly in to­ne to crea­te an ab­stract at­mo­sphe­re whi­le the floors of Edin­bur­gh sto­ne and oak par­quet ha­ve been pre­ser­ved and lin­ked up whe­re ne­ces­sa­ry by sur­fa­ces of clou­dy grey “ter­raz­zo” (sup­plied by the Ita­lian com­pa­ny Ag­glo­te­ch). The­re are new lar­ge ar­ched doors wi­th dou­ble sla­te-co­lou­red pa­nels that con­nect the axial rou­te to the halls and the bron­ze-co­lou­red hanging lamps de­si­gned by Chip­per­field and ma­de by Via­biz­zu­no (ano­ther sour­ce of Ita­lian pri­de) are al­so new ad­di­tions. And the fi­nal in­no­va­tion re­gards the ex­tra spa­ce gi­ven to ar­chi­tec­tu­re. As the newly ap­poin­ted ar­chi­tec­tu­re pro­gram­me cu­ra­tor, the Spa­niard Gon­za­lo Her­re­ro De­li­ca­do ex­plains: “In Sep­tem­ber a so­lo ex­hi­bi­tion on Ren­zo Pia­no will be ope­ning. But in ad­di­tion to the main an­nual ex­hi­bi­tion the­re will be other sho­ws in­ten­ded to gi­ve ex­po­su­re to youn­ger ar­chi­tec­ts.” The fir­st of the­se will be In­vi­si­ble Land­sca­pes, cu­ra­ted by the MA­IO of­fi­ce of Bar­ce­lo­na, till 4 Mar­ch. Its the­me? How di­gi­tal tech­no­lo­gy is tran­sfor­ming our li­ves and our spa­ces.

PRI­MA L A SCUOL A OC­CU­PA­VA IL PIA­NO INF ERIORE E L A COL L E ZIO­NE QUEL LO SU­PE­RIO­RE, NEL­LA NUO­VA SI­STE­MA­ZIO­NE GAL­LE­RIE E SCUO­LA SI IN­TREC­CIA­NO BE­FO­RE THE SCHOOL OC­CU­PIED THE LO­WER FLOOR AND THE GAL­LE­RIES THE UP­PER ONE. TO­DAY THE COL­LEC­TION EX­TENDS ALL OVER THE BUIL­DING. THE GAL­LE­RIES AND SCHOOL ARE IN­TERT­WI­NED

Nel­la se­zio­ne, so­pra, si leg­ge il col­le­ga­men­to rea­liz­za­to tra le due se­di dell’Ac­ca­de­mia, Bur­ling­ton Hou­se e 6 Bur­ling­ton Gar­dens. A de­stra, il We­ston brid­ge di­se­gna­to da Chip­per­field, nuo­va ma­ni­ca pas­san­te tra i due pa­laz­zi. Pa­gi­na ac­can­to, l’in­ter­no del We­ston brid­ge e la gal­le­ria The Vaul­ts che dà ac­ces­so al pon­te. In aper­tu­ra, la fac­cia­ta nord del­la Royal Aca­de­my, su Bur­ling­ton Gar­dens.

The cross-sec­tion, abo­ve, sho­ws the con­nec­tion that has been crea­ted bet­ween the Aca­de­my’s two lo­ca­tions, Bur­ling­ton Hou­se and 6 Bur­ling­ton Gar­dens. Right, the We­ston Brid­ge de­si­gned by Chip­per­field, whi­ch now links the two buil­dings. Fa­cing pa­ge, in­si­de the We­ston Brid­ge, and the Vaul­ts gal­le­ry that gi­ves ac­cess to the brid­ge. Ope­ning pa­ges, the nor­th faça­de of the Royal Aca­de­my, over­loo­king Bur­ling­ton Gar­dens.

Abo­ve, the new ca­fe­te­ria in the Dor­f­man Se­na­te Room, whi­ch over­looks Bur­ling­ton Gar­dens. Left, one of the rooms used for the ar­chi­tec­tu­re exhibitions, and the chil­dren’s work­shop. Fa­cing pa­ge, a ca­st of Gly­kon’s Far­ne­se Her­cu­les in the vaul­ted ba­se­ment gal­le­ry.

So­pra, il nuo­vo caf­fè ri­ca­va­to nel­la Dor­f­man Se­na­te Room, su Bur­ling­ton Gar­dens. A si­ni­stra, una del­le sa­le de­di­ca­te al­le mo­stre di ar­chi­tet­tu­ra e il la­bo­ra­to­rio per i bam­bi­ni. Nel­la pa­gi­na ac­can­to, un cal­co dell’Er­co­le Far­ne­se di Gli­co­ne nel­la gal­le­ria vol­ta­ta al pia­no se­mi-in­ter­ra­to.

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