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8½ - YAP MAXXI 2014


A temporary urban oasis in Rome, to get rest, have chats and learn about contemporary arts.

This documentary catches glimpses of the planning and construction process of the architectural installation "8 1⁄2" - Orizzontale's winning proposal for the 2014 Young Architects Program (YAP) at the MAXXI Museum in Rome. Specifically designed for the museum-outside piazza Boetti and built in four weeks, the structure is both a mobile theater and a temporary urban oasis, a low cost and sustainable construction designed and erected by the Rome-based collective in order to experience the dual nature of public space as a stage for public events and collective spectacles, and also an elected background for private encounters and relaxing intimacy in the middle of the city.

In the short film - produced by Orizzontale and directed, shot and edited by Francesco Russomanno - , a combination of live footage and interviews with the architects introduces the project, the architects' vision and the relationship with the location. The structure doesn't impact heavily on the site, since its two complementary elements - a translucent wall and a timber arena - can be easily dismantled, re-assembled and rearranged in new configurations, cleverly adapting to new locations. The wall - which is 8 and 1⁄2 meters high and is built with modular timber frames covered with recycled beer kegs and a controlled LED lighting system - becomes a luminous urban landmark at night and creates a threshold effect in the surrounding location of the MAXXI piazza. The arena is conceived both as a theater for public events and plays and a square for people to rest, play or sunbath.

Orizzontale's video also documents how the location became for two weeks a workshop open to students that took part in the construction process of the architectural installation.


Author: Francesco Russomanno
Architect: orizzontale
Mentioned project: 8½ (2014)
Project location: Rome, Italy
Courtesy: Fondazione MAXXI

Italy 2014
Duration: 3'01''