Designed by Milanese architect Cino Zucchi and built and sponsored by De Castelli, directly from the province of Treviso comes the most powerful outdoor element in the highly anticipated Italian Pavilion at the soon-to-open 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Cino Zucchi – curator of the Pavilion on commission from MIBACT – has designed a large portal made of acid-finished Cor-ten steel. The portal, affectionately nicknamed “Archimbuto”, the ‘Archi-funnel’, because of its shape which harmonizes with the existing space and welcomes the visitors to the exhibition, enhances the expressive potential of the metal, thanks to the development of a special finish that highlights the typical colour range of steel – from gray to brown to blue. The project marks yet another step forward in the excellent understanding between the architect from Milan and the company founded in the Veneto region, which began two years ago with the installation Copycat. Empathy and Envy as form-makers’ created for the 13th Architecture Biennale, the only Italian project that won an Honourable Mention from the international jury of the Exhibition. This year, the portal designed by Zucchi offered De Castelli not only an exceptional exhibition venue, behind Sansovino’s seventeenth-century Gaggiandre in the Arsenale and not far from the extraordinary nineteenth-century metal hydraulic crane that was recently restored by MIBACT, but also a further stimulus to pursue its experimentations into the wide range of expressive possibilities offered by metal, innovating the hand-made production processes that have always been the distinguishing characteristic of the company founded in Cornuda by Albino Celato. This company, which has cultivated a family tradition that can boast three generations of metalworkers, has chosen to depart from the current models of metalworking to develop an absolutely contemporary perception, which at the scale of architecture and design refines both the most advanced industrial frontiers in this field and the crafting skills typical of the Venetian piedmont area, developing innovative finishes and production processes to serve their collaboration with famous Italian and international designers. The large curved portal of the Italian Pavilion will act as a ‘visual amplifier’ to funnel the visitors into the exhibition curated by Zucchi, which under the title ‘Innesti_Grafting’ will explore the reper-cussions of modernity in Italy, the theme suggested to the National Pavilions by the director of the 2014 Biennale Rem Koolhaas. Anchored to a cement platform, consisting in 163 panels for a total height of 10 meters and weighing 6 tons, the portal thus is also an explicit materialization of the title of the exhibition: ‘grafting’ contemporary creativity onto the ancient and beautiful spaces of the Arsenale, it is also a ‘link’ between inside and outside, the public dimension of the visitor itineraries and the more sheltered and reflexive enjoyment of the exhibition.
Architect Cino Zucchi
Place 14th International Architecture Exhibition of Venice
Photo Federico Barin