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Francesco Mattuzzi

A journey through a rediscovered, timeless idea of community.


Time seems to be almost standing still and architectural spaces reconquer their role in this journey conceived and filmed by Francesco Mattuzzi through five projects commissioned for the city of Ivrea by Adriano Olivetti, an important and inspired 20th century Italian entrepreneur, politician and urban planner as well as the patron of avant-garde industrial buildings.

Through these projects - from the design of the I.C.O. Engine Rooms by Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini (1934) to the Spacerocket by Iginio Cappai, Pietro Mainardis (1967-1965), the Hidden Greenhouse by Ignazio Gardella (1953-1959), the Mission Control Area by Gian Antonio Bernasconi, Annibale Fiocchi, Marcello Nizzoli (1960-1964), the Launching Pad by Roberto Gabetti, Aimaro Isola (1968-1971) - Ivrea became an open-air laboratory. It was the materialization of the urban, economical and social model of the industrial community conceived by the Piedmontese entrepreneur and was strictly connected to the local factory.

Mattuzzi presents the buildings in a frozen atmosphere that recalls scenes from some classical 1960s sci-fi movies and that seems deeply connected to the imagery that inspired the design. The absence of almost all human presences allows the viewers to focus on the pure volumes of the projects. Also the soundtrack and sound design - created by Chiara Luzzana specifically for this short - are inspired by the five projects and by the overall atmosphere of this ideal and yet desert community: the original sounds of Olivetti machineries and of the environments were "caught" through precision microphones and then, through the use of modular synthesizers and analogue processors, turned into an audio path.

The short documentary was part of a larger work by Francesco Mattuzzi, launched in 2008 and commissioned by the Fondazione Adriano Olivetti to celebrate the architectural projects Olivetti built in Ivrea. The video was showcased at the entrance of the Italian Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale (2012), where an entire section was dedicated to Adriano Olivetti's works and activities as entrepreneur, politician, publisher and urban planner.

Authors icon Credits

Architects: Iginio Cappai, Pietro Mainardis, Luigi Figini, Gino Pollini, Ignazio Gardella, Gian Antonio Bernasconi, Annibale Fiocchi, Marcello Nizzoli, Roberto Gabetti, Aimaro Isola
Mentioned projects: The Spacerocket (1967-1965), I.C.O. - Engine Rooms (1934), Hidden Greenhouse (1953-1959), Mission Control Area (1960-1964), Launching Pad (1968-1971)
Project location: Ivrea, Italy
Production: Francesco Mattuzzi with the support of Fondazione Adriano Olivetti
Music: Chiara Luzzana

Italy 2012
Duration: 9'17''

Screened within the Italian Pavillon at the 13rd Venice Architecture Biennale (Venice; August - November 2012).