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Ayla Schiappacasse, Claudio Poddie, Duccio Prassoli, Ludovica Grosso

A walk through contemporary architecture in Genoa: SMFN Department by Studio Caffaro.

The video "Fallout" was conceived and filmed by students of the "Architectural Design" course held by Valter Scelsi at Genoa University. The aim was to focus attention on contemporary architecture and its maintenance: when architectural value is overlooked, even valuable buildings are affected by deterioration.

Since its construction, the SMFN Department has been considered to be entirely out of context; the people who study there and live nearby joke about its presence, often remarking on its similarity to a spaceship or factory. The short film aims to show this resemblance, pointing out the result of the building's neglected maintenance. The camera explores the building discovering its activities step by step, and only the final scene reveals its current function.

Despite its unappreciated form, the SMFN Department is well organised in terms of its functions and is well perceived by students who can use the entire front of the building for studying and relaxation. The only functional problems, in the laboratories and professors' offices, are due to bad maintenance which has worsened in recent years. Nowadays, the complete repair of the roof would require the full replacement of the beams and glass. This is the "Fallout" of the building: it has been neglected so much that it appears impossible to fully recover it; students work in a building that will never perform at its best due to past misunderstandings.


Architect: Studio Caffaro
Mentioned project: SMFN Department
Project location: Genoa, Italy

Italy 2016
Duration: 2'23''