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The Light of Construction


A building metamorphosis: scenes from a construction site.

How does a building come to light? Mario Frusca, a long time collaborator of Park Associati, shows it to us in The Light of Construction, a video on Chiese74 project, shot in three different takes, that aims to describe, in the author's voice, the construction site as "the secret place and time of a project".

We all pass by construction sites on our way to work, but we too rarely stop to observe them: they are a space of wonder, of birth and transformation of what is outdated into what is new. This video, using slow camera movements, allows us to conceive the construction site of Chiese74 as a place of existence, rather than an in progress phase of an upcoming building.

This is particularly true in this case, as Chiese74 represents the renovation of an already existing building from the '80s, outdated in terms of energy, distribution, and technology, which has been redesigned to better fit in its upcoming neighborhood. In fact, Bicocca is a historic site of Milanese industrialization and has undergone a major transformation since the 1990s with the establishment of an important Hub of the University of Milan. Today it is directly connected with the center of the city by a metro line and has become a place for tertiary activities and headquarters, surrounded by cinemas, art sites and theatres.

Rethinking the building was essential for Park Associati. The architects decided to re-proportion and re-shape its massive volumes, in order to achieve a much lighter and articulated configuration: the video by Mario Frusca enhances its abstract and contemporary features, with it black and white elegant and timeless photography and its ability to show how the city moves around and inside Chiese74. To do so, he relied on the changes of lights and on sounds: the voices of people, the sounds of the constructors and workers fill the air, creating a continuum; that is the soundtrack of the city, changing.

The process that Frusca shows is of metamorphosis, not of sudden and abrupt change of places in time: citizens, buildings, center and periphery change together, as parts of a same body, in harmony.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Author: Mario Frusca
Mentioned project: Via Chiese 74 (2017)
Project location: Milan, Italy

Italy 2017
Duration: 3'10"