11 June 2019

AT HOME. Projects for Contemporary Housing

Homes are the most intimate yet the most social places in which we spend our lives, reflecting not just aesthetic and expressive trends, but also and especially, our behaviours and lifestyles. These, inevitably, are in constant evolution and it is in our homes – theatres and platforms for everyday life - that the most significant social, technological, economic and cultural changes - wrought by the advanced present in which we live and an imagined future - are generated.

The new architecture collection display at MAXXI in Rome is designed to narrate the evolution of the concept of living from the post-war years to the present day, through the work of the great 20th century masters alongside that of new figures emerging onto the international architectural scene. AT HOME. Projects for Contemporary Housing showcases work carried out in contrasting times and spaces but that are assonant and similar as regards the methodology, the context in which they are located or formal research. The projects are showcased in visual proximity to each other, in bold ‘duets’, in a bid to spark ideas and reflection.

The famous Villa Malaparte in Capri thus finds itself in dialogue with the shelter in the Dolomites by the young DEMOGO architects; the university colleges in Urbino by Giancarlo De Carlo with the ‘space age’ house built by Zaha Hadid in Russia; Stefano Boeri’s Vertical Forest in Milan with the Moryama House in Tokyo; the house in Rome featured in the film Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion with a building designed in Johannesburg by Jo Noero. Curated by Margherita Guccione, Director of MAXXI Architettura and Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator of MAXXI Architettura, the exhibition provides a number of different interpretative keys, from the individual to the collective, through the ‘duets’, the site-specific pavilions and the narrative of art photography.

Exploring the individual and collective dimension of living, AT HOME examines single-family habitations and crowded districts, highlighting the typical approach to experimentation in the former, such as Paolo Portoghesi’s first work, Casa Baldi in Rome, designed in 1959, in relation to the ‘space age’ Capital Hill Residence, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin, which soars up out of the forest just outside Moscow.

The exhibition then continues with a recognition of the intermediate dimension of collective living, and an insight into material from the archives of Giulio Gra and Monaco Luccichenti, who built the most celebrated Roman villas between the 30s and 50s, which are offset against Jo Noero’s building in Johannesburg.

It then focuses on the dimension of the urban district, looking at the role of the INA Casa neighbourhoods in rebuilding the country and the urbanisation process of the 50s and 60s. The exhibition ends with the Corviale housing project in Rome, an urban and social mega-laboratory, in the light of the new projects for its regeneration.

The exhibition is a must-see, because all the works on display (drawings, models, photographs, videos and documents) reflect as much on the forms as on the materials of architecture, closely bound up with the natural environment or driven by the identity-related client demands and because the display provides an opportunity to reflect on the intersection between people’s experience of habitation and its place in the community.

AT HOME. Projects for Contemporary Housing

Runs until 22nd March 2020

MAXXI. The National Museum of 21st Century Arts
Rome, Italy


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