FLORENCECALL: ARTS MUSEUM

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[THEME] Florence is one of the most prestigious Italian cities, important artistic and financial influences have made this place one of the centers of interest since the medieval period. Considered as the birthplace of the Renaissance there are numerous monuments – the Duomo, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, just to name a few – that characterize the urban context. Giotto, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci are, along with many others, the prominent figures who have had workshops in the city, leading to the establishment, since the 12th century, of professional corporations. In memory of tradition, and imagining a building capable of implementing the rich architectural scene, we intend to design a Museum for the Arts and Crafts which will be known by the acronym MAMe and which will become a new cultural center for the old city. This will be a contemporary sign able to dialogue with the pre-existences that surround the project area, implementing the socio-cultural offer of the place. A system for culture in which laboratories and events will encourage interaction between people from different backgrounds who have come to Florence to learn about its history.

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FIRST PRIZE: Anniina kortemaa (FINLAND)

“…..the project aims to reinterpret the identity of Florentine with a contemporary attitude. Most spaces with less demand for natural lighting are located underground while the small above ground units preserve the view of the place and are connected to each other by a thin shelter. The spatial concept proposes the local architectural culture in which low rise buildings manage to constitute a contiguous system between different functions. The blocks include a façade cladding in metal mesh, appropriately shielded by glass plates, which remember the weave of the fabrics suggesting, with unexpected holes, points of sudden but well-channeled observations. Materials with a high tactile transmission are preferred: corroded iron or reflective metal surfaces become a reference to the craft displayed inside the museum. The water fountains along the paths are a tribute to the Arno river that in past times helped merchants transport their merchandise…..”


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SECOND PRIZE: Byron Cai, Lyric Barnik (CANADA)

“…..MAMe is compared to the square through a system of functions placed at different levels. Keeping the void of space, the building seeks an underground development so that the morphology of the place is not altered; the project is austere, intends to strengthen the Florentine tradition without distorting it. From the side access ramp it is possible to glimpse the exhibition spaces protected from the street level in search of a greater sense of privacy. The flight of steps that characterizes one of the two short sides of the perimeter rectangle is suitable for outdoor events and becomes an observation point facing the façade of the cathedral. The metal support beams are painted white to blend in with the dividing walls and not create excessive bulk in the interior spaces…..”


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THIRD PRIZE: Iuliia Gladysheva, Vladislav Saprunenko (RUSSIAN)

“…..the square, the museum and the green spaces have been identified as three key elements of the project. Compared to the importance of places for aggregation in the life of the city, the museum spaces are placed at the underground level so as not to alter the historical perception of the place in a decisive manner. The square becomes a space for events: the green areas increase the places for compound interaction, becoming a new oxygen lung at the service of the metropolis. The two tiers of access serve the function of open theater and lead the visitor to the exhibition halls. The skylights that characterize the pavement of the square illuminate the hypogeum environments creating intimate atmospheres where the visitor can isolate himself during his visit. The subsoil becomes the space for memory, the square is the place where the present life moves…..”


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MENTION: Luciano Bonelli, Alan Aguirre Pranzoni (ARGENTINA)

“…..the museum is compared to the square through a system of functions placed at different levels. Keeping the void of space, the building seeks an underground development so that the morphology of the place is not altered; the project is austere, intends to strengthen the Florentine tradition without distorting it. From the side access ramp it is possible to glimpse the exhibition spaces protected from the street level in search of a greater sense of privacy. The flight of steps that characterizes one of the two short sides of the perimeter rectangle is suitable for outdoor events and becomes an observation point facing the façade of the cathedral. The metal support beams are painted white to blend in with the dividing walls and not create excessive bulk in the interior spaces…..”


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MENTION: Rachele Bargiacchi, Chiara Anselmi, Arianna Fagiolini, Chiara Morucci (ITALY)

“…..MAMe becomes an installation on Santa Croce square, metallic and glass fragments that appear as two splinters in the ground. The project is developed following the conceptual paradigms of the poet Dante in the Divine Comedy, the entrance to the museum is conceived as an evocative descent into the underworld. Along the internal pathway, metal and fabric exhibitions are progressively met to compose the story of Florentine traditions. The real fulcrum of the project is the intermediate environment, a purgatory in which visitors can deepen, put into practice or experiment what they observed during their visit experience. The strong light indicates the glazed ramp, the path that leads the visitor towards the statue with the features of the poet…..”


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MENTION: Orlando Sica (ITALY)

“…..the project program create a place in love with interaction. The study of the context highlights how urban conformation is composed of buildings with a heterogeneous design: it was decided to rework this principle by developing the functions around a system of green spaces. The huge current size reduces contact between people; to solve this gap the buildings have been arranged to generate areas of human dimensions. The three exhibition pavilions were positioned on the side most exposed to the sun’s rays in order to be decentralized with respect to the facade of the church which maintains its importance on the site unchanged. The museum system follows a legible, albeit very dynamic, scheme in which exhibition halls, auditoriums, book shops, open spaces are independent but part of a single functional program…..”


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MENTION: Kinga Gawlik, Stanislaw Czujkowski, Piotr Rajewski, Korneliusz Wielechowski (POLAND)

“…..the proposal is a contemporary sign for the old city. The building is at the center of the intervention area to divide the place into two spaces of different sizes. The first of the two squares, located near the church and with a larger size, includes walkways placed at different levels to open different observation points facing the ancient church. The green paths complete the pedestrian walkways by designing outdoor rest areas. The block built is suspended over the square below: the metal shell that encloses the facades is designed to favor a free internal arrangement of the rooms and to allow light to penetrate in a channeled manner. During the night the light coming from inside becomes a great attraction for the people who gravitate around the square…..”


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MENTION: Granju Dorian, Bébin Loic (FRANCE)

“…..the creation of a central space with the built volume placed on the side does not alter the visual perception of the basilica. Along one of the short sides of the perimeter there is an outdoor amphitheater from which it is possible to see the first exhibition hall; suspended over the void and totally glazed, it allows visitors to sense what is happening in the interior. Continuing the path towards access, you are projected into a full-height hall that mixes the flows to the different rooms. At the end of the path it is possible to connect with the street level and continue the experience inside the church or head towards the green square below. The covered auditorium, the dining areas and the bookcase that complete the functional equipment become useful accessory places to provide local people with new meeting points…..”


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MENTION: Nassim Barkaoui, Alexandre Billaudeau, Simon Lépine (FRANCE)

“…..the project rid the central space that becomes a place where history and contemporaneity coexist. The horizontal metal top connects the two blocks framing the facade of the church. The main volume, with its monolithic appearance, is set back from the square to create a green strip that acts as a filter between the building and the square; light marble is a reference to the tones of the nearby church. The second volume, reduced in dimension, is divided into three levels, each having terraces with different observation points. The functions contained in the interior spaces are connected to the central square through a system of full-height windows that allows the users to experience the place in a totalitarian way…..”

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PROJECTS ARE AWARDED IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE. PROJECTS THAT HAVEN’T WON SHOULD TREAT THEM AS ALL THE SAME POSITION