“We are like dwarves upon the shoulders of giants”, said the philosopher Bernard of Chartres in 1120, “so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size”.
The reflection proposed this year by Interni during the Fuorisalone focuses on this theme: Legacy, or heritage, what is left behind by the world of design for contemporary and future mankind, but also the relationship with the great masters of the past, and the lessons that can be passed on to the younger generations.
The installations of Interni Legacy at the Ca’ Granda, now the State University in Milan, represent ‘master classes’: architects, designers creative professionals, international studios working around the world – Japan, Russia, United States, China – offer their personal interpretations of the theme with projects that touch on multiple sectors, from micro-architecture to abstract models, urban landscape to furnishings, to conceptual work that approaches the sphere of art.
The languages used by the designers are many, and this makes Interni Legacy a kaleidoscope of ideas and suggestions.
At least two directions seem to emerge from the group: on the one hand, the focus on a close relationship with nature, though one that is mediated by technology; on the other, the vertical thrust, expressed in towers and totems, mountainous landscapes, sculptures that reach to the sky. A thrust, a projection upward that reflects the yearning that is a part of construction: the desire to grow, to ascend.
After all, from the heights one can see better.
Speech Tchoban & Kuznetsov
The gaze of the architect interprets the historical legacy, mediating reality, foreseeing the future: it is represented by a reflecting sphere with a mobile pupil, made in collaboration with Taltos.
The legacy of architectural thought is the heritage of buildings across the centuries, also seen in drawings, techniques, materials that nurture the culture and fantasy of designers. Architects use the sense of sight as their main tool. Vision, a concept that combines the function of the eye with the intellectual value of thought, directed towards the future.
This is the idea behind Architect’s Eye, the installation created for Interni Legacy by the Russian studio SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov, with the contribution of Taltos, the Piedmont-based company that specializes in high-tech natural stone facing materials. Sergei Tschoban and Sergey Kuznetsov, partners of the prestigious architecture studio SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov, based in Moscow, which employs over 120 designers, have invented a stainless steel sphere, completely smooth and reflecting, positioned in the Cortile d’Onore of the Ca’ Granda.
A true high-tech sculpture, the sphere features an LED system to create the image of a gigantic human pupil that looks to the sky, or at visitors, or at the ground, changing the color of the iris and the size of the pupil.
Inside the eye there are images of monuments of the Russian avant-garde, which now lie abandoned: a strong message about the need to conserve our history and cultural legacy.
Thanks to the reflecting effect of the steel, the sphere reproduces and deforms the image of the 18th-century courtyard, to symbolize the intellectual process of the architect who reads and interprets the extraordinary forms of the past.
Technology, represented by the mobile effect of the eye, is the key word of the approach that sets apart the activities of Taltos, the partner in the installation: the company specializes in the making of large, very thin sheets of natural stone, reinforced by epoxy resins and supports in fiberglass, carbon or steel.
The sheets are ideal for use on airplanes and ships, as refined coverings in interiors, or for countertops
Alessandro e Francesco Mendini
Surface represents the regular, alternating variations of forms in the passage of time.
The theme of legacy as passage of heritage between history and the future has prompted Alessandro & Francesco Mendini to delve into abstract design reflections on forms, seen as entities constantly wavering between different eras. If forms cross, with returns and advances, through the past and the future, their present representation is symbolized by Surface, a totemic abstract sculpture that is a visualization of forms extrapolated from the arc of time.
Nine vertical surfaces, up to 11 meters in height, arranged like theater wings, an impressive, evocative grouping with undulated contours and variegated surfaces. Visitors can cross them and and enter the set, which changes thanks to the changing light throughout the course of the day.
The Surface installation has symbolic value and gives visual form to a pure, light aesthetic, combined with high technological content.
The nine towers, in fact, each have different surface decorations thanks to the materials used: printed wood flooring made with highly specialized processes.
It is produced by Elegant Living, a company from the Samling Group, a Malay company (listed on the Hong Kong exchange) that manages sustainable wood resources, producing and distributing wood products.
The material used in the installation is eucalyptus plywood, with a thickness of 14 mm, with a 1 mm laminate of Chinese birch decorated with a digital printing process
Zhang Ke /StandardArchitecture
Three self-supporting towers made with backlit steel panels, thanks to the Camerich furnishings brand. A reference to the ancient Chinese lifestyle, a perspective of sustainable development.
Urban planning and landscape design are among the specializations of StandardArchitecture, the Beijing-based studio founded in 2001 by Zhang Ke, with the partners Zhang Hong and Claudia Taborda.
The urban design dimension is applied to address the theme of architectural heritage: life in the mountains, seen as a well-balanced model in Chinese culture, will be practiced again when world population growth and the erosion of agricultural territories force mankind to seek new models.
Like the Village Mountains, artificial mountains up to a height of 6 m, composed of groupings of residential, self-sufficient cells.
The designers of Standardarchitecture have brought the representation of this futuristic urban model into Interni Legacy: three towers with an organic form, extending in linear, fluid peaks, with heights of 4, 5 and 6 meters, positioned in the Cortile d’Onore, referencing the mountain lifestyle while forming an urban and landscape model for the near future.
The Village Mountain towers are made with 446 panels of ultrathin steel, just 3 mm thick, welded to obtain a self-supporting honeycomb structure, painted white.
The aesthetic impact of the composition during the day is that of an abstract form. In the evening, it becomes a vivid, lively body thanks to a system of backlighting by iGuzzini, projected onto plexiglas panels that cover the internal facade of the towers.
3D X1 multi slice view
The French architect prompts reflection on geometry and perspective, and on three dimensional effects.
When Antonio Averlino, known as Filarete, began to write his Treatise on Architecture in 1460, he had already outlined the impressive project of the Ca’ Granda, the Ospedale Maggiore of Renaissance Milan, now home of the State University and of the exhibition Interni Legacy. In those texts the architect and humanist described – based on pure geometric forms and perspective lines – the composition of the ideal city, which influenced urban planning for many centuries.
This theoretical masterpiece is directly connected to the installation 3D X1 created for Interni Legacy by Odile Decq, winner of the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Biennial of Archtiecture in 1996.
The French architect, designer of the Macro Museum in Rome and, more recently, the Art Hôtel of Beijing and the splendid restaurant of the Opéra Garnier in Paris, proposes thoughts on the tools and methods of architecture, through a cube 4.5 meters on each side, made with 31 very thin sheets (6 mm) of technical porcelain stoneware by GranitiFiandre, one of the most important producers of this material and the partner in the making of the installation.
The panels, positioned 15 cm from each other, form a cube crossed by soft cone-shaped cavities: the effect is one of ongoing change of perception of the form, based on the vantage point. A fascinating perspective game, a conceptual representation of the dialogue between the user and the form of architecture.
The technical porcelain stoneware sheets supplied by GranitiFiandre demonstrate the company’s capacity to produce innovation, meeting the challenges of the contemporary world with research to create products like the Active Clean Air & Antibacterial CeramicTM line, and the Maximum line of large panels (3×1.5 m) with extraordinarily small thicknesses (from 3 to 6 mm)
Four points for one tower
Project: Massimo Iosa Ghini
FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti iGuzzini
The tower, over 9 meters high, designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini, is covered with large ceramic sheets by FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti, and enlivened by the play of LED lights from iGuzzini.
A block of rugged stone material forms the natural entity that from ancient times has filled man with the desire to sculpt, to build, to create.
Based on the primordial image, Massimo Iosa Ghini, one of the most famous Italian architects on the international scene, has designed for Interni Legacy a tower over nine meters high that reveals a secret: from a curved opening in the walls, a game of LED lights emerges, to represent the movement of thought.
A luminous grid of variable geometry, obtained using low-consumption fixtures by iGuzzini with the motion effect; the base of the tower is bordered by a balustrade in glass, illuminated by LEDs.
The monolith represents the legacy of the past, the means with which nature has ignited human creativity, in turn symbolized by the mobile luminous effect.
The architect from Bologna, winner of many awards for architecture and design and creator of the very recent IBM Software Executive Briefing Center in Rome has decided to cover the structure of the tower with large 300 x 150 cm ceramic sheets, cut and finished by laser, produced by FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti, the partner of the installation.
FMG Fabbrica Marmi e Graniti is specialized in the production of natural fabricated stones, suitable for many applications, thanks to exclusive technology that makes it possible to reproduce, with industrial methods, the most beautiful varieties of marble, granite and natural stones, in highperformance sheets (80 varieties, 14 finishes and formats).
Through the choice of an industrial material that perfects and expands the usage possibilities of natural material, Massimo Iosa Ghini – in his installation Four Points for a Tower – underscores how technological innovation sustains the design world thanks to ongoing expansion of potential and possibilities.
Samsung Cheil Industries
According to Przemyslaw “Mac” Stopa, founder of the studio Massive Design, specialized in the design of corporate spaces (for the likes of Coca-Cola, Google and Microsoft), ‘the legacy of the past is one of organic forms, designs and colors’.
These are the elements he has decided to reproduce and reinterpret in a contemporary way in the installation Flow, a project in which the flow is generated by twenty thermoformed panels of Staron whose wave-like, semispherical geometry is brought out by the use of contrasting colors, from chocolate to yellow, orange to white.
A chromatic mixtures that evokes the Impressionists, but also the hues of graphics and fashion.
Solid Staron Surface, the material of the new generation composed of natural minerals bonded with acrylic and marked by great resistance and flexibility, is a product of Samsung Cheil Industries, the partner in this installation
Michele De Lucchi / Philippe Nigro
A vantage point, an invitation to look at beautiful things
This is the installation by Michele De Lucchi for Interni Legacy: Belvedere is a way of meditating on the reality around us. But it is also a place to go to see beautiful things. A dual indication: the need to observe the world in order to understand it, and the need to constantly seek beauty.
The architect and designer, creator of Produzione Privata, evokes a historic legacy, that of the belvederes of romantic gardens and baroque palaces, reworked in linear, clean forms and timeless materials like wood and metal.
The balustrade for viewing is placed atop a structure that reproduces the curves used in architectural models to show slopes; it is in waxed black iron, made by Marzorati Ronchetti of Cantù, a company that is a true ‘master tailor’ of metal.
Iron is also used for the parapets of the steps and the kiosk at the upper level: the black iron, just 2 mm thick, features iridescent effects.
The floor of the access bridge and the balustrade is in precious thermo-treated solid ash supplied by Listone Giordano, a leading brand in the high-end wood flooring sector, while the four stacked bases are made with OSB panels composed of scraps of wood joined by resins, produced by Publistand.
The LED Naiade spots by Artemide, built into the floor, light up the entire itinerary
One – Into the Void
SOM Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Carrara Marmotec Martinelli Luce
Two high walls of white marble form a geometric route: the installation made with Carrara Marmotec symbolizes the relationship between architecture and this noble, natural material.
To dig, quarry, shape, build: the relationships of nature, creativity and architecture has always seen marble as a perfect vehicle. Today the marble sector is one of high technological specialization, and Carrara is one of its worldwide centers of excellence.
The international studio SOM (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill), one of the most successful in the world (Burj Khalifa tower and Rolex Tower in Dubai), with Paolo Armenise and Silvia Nerbi, has interpreted this very fertile relationship in the installation-sculpture “One – Into the Void”, with the partnership of Carrara Marmotec (AntonioLupi, Franchi Umberto Marmi, Gemeg, Il Fiorino, Italmarble Pocai, Jove, Marmi Carrara, MT&S, Sagevan, Sam, Sampietro, Savema and Up Group).
Two impressive vertical walls made with marble modules 10 cm thick, to form a narrow path almost 5 meters in length.
The passage, like a path of initiation, symbolizes the quarrying of marble, the gap left by man in the earth, the arduous path of creativity in relation to material.
The installation, with lighting by Martinelli Luce, is an imposing sculpture that varies with the variation of the light; the jagged geometry of the walls makes the internal path dynamic, forming a contrast between empty space and the static identity of a black bench at the end of the route.
The collaboration of Carrara Marmotec with the SOM office demonstrates the connection of this international fair with the most highly qualified exponents of architecture and creativity.
Provincia Autonoma di Trento
Four high walls in lamellar solid X-Lam wood cut with openings, containing mirrors and lights that interact with the gaze of visitors in the installation XL Wood created by Monica Armani.
The link with the territory and the use of its resources, through basic, timeless architectural forms, form the leitmotiv of the installation XL Wood created by Monica Armani.
The designer – a Trent native – is successful as an architect (creator of the original Clouds ceiling installation in Milan for Coin and, recently, the new Excelsior department store) and as a designer, with the famous self-produced Progetto 1 series, and collaborations with leading brands.
She has interpreted the Legacy theme by looking to the primary matrix of any project, namely the relationship with the territory.
The installation XL Wood, in fact, references the Trent landscape starting with the tower form, a typical architectural feature of the Province, which contains many castles. Armani has interpreted this in a contemporary, essential, rigorous form.
The tower rests on caged porphyry scraps, a stone widely used in building. Its quarrying and working represent one of the fields of excellence of the Province of Trent.
The visitor, climbing the base, can approach the quadrangular building bordered by high walls (over 7 m) constructed with panels in X-Lam wood, widely used in building for their antiseismic and flameproofing properties. The walls are crossed lengthwise by narrow openings that let visitors see inside, where a system of mirrors captures details of the historic portico of the Ca’ Granda.
At night the openings come alive, emitting little flashes of light. Wood, stone and light are the pure elements with which Monica Armani has composed XL Wood, making use of local materials and skills
Camparisoda and Verallia
Eighty sheet metal profiles surround a large origami that contains the famous aperitif bottles, in the installation created with Camparisoda and Verallia.
The legacy, in this case, has a noble source: Fortunato Depero designed the first Camparisoda bottle in 1932, and the striking profile of the little man, thanks to a brilliant intuition that sealed a lasting pact between art, communication and industry.
In 2012 the approach is reprised by a talented designer, Matteo Ragni, inventing the latest version of the renowned bottle, in the installation Icon Celebration, a red luminous totem surrounded by eighty silhouettes.
Eighty like the age of Camparisoda, the bestseller of this leading beverage producer and partner of the installation, together with Verallia, the glass food packaging brand of the Saint-Gobain Group
Ludovica e Roberto Palomba
Zucchetti Kos e Payanini
Eau Vive is a parallelepiped in white Payanini onyx that contains the Faraway outdoor minipool by Zucchetti.Kos; the interaction between the very pure natural material and a refined industrial product represents, for Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, the mediation between nature and artifice found in a design system.
In nature, opposites attract: the solid inertia of stone seems to lure the mobility and fleeting quality of water.
Fascinated by the strong synergy of these two natural elements, Ludovica+Roberto Palomba decided to develop this archetypal relationship in the installation Eau Vive, for Interni Legacy, in the Cortile d’Onore of the Ca’ Granda.
The legacy theme of the event, in this case, is interpreted in terms of nature itself, whose primordial, pure force can be harnessed by design as part of a complex, intelligent system.
The two designers, who in their professional career have developed very successful systems for the domestic space of the bath, have created a platform for Eau Vive in White Rhino, an almost metaphysical monolith, to contain a mini-pool, the symbol of the source of water inside rock.
One of the most ancient and powerful images of the natural world – the source of life that issues from the ancient heart of the Earth – is summed up in a project that makes use of the very pure White Rhino material supplied by the Verona-based company Payanini, and the Faraway mini-pool by Zucchetti.Kos, designed by the Palombas.
Faraway stands out for its essential, incisive look generated by the floor level opening for water, which doubles the image of the edge of the tub; beauty and functional quality, shared with the collections of products and systems developed by Zucchetti.Kos, a reference point for the world of the bath and well being.
The mission of Payanini, on the other hand, focuses on natural stones, with a selection of the rarest varieties and the most beautiful grains and colors of marble, granite, Travertine and onyx
The Flysch installation by Jacopo Foggini is a fantastic vision, based on the forms of the course of a river through a colorful land.
Jacopo Foggini, an explorer of forms between art and design, sets aside the extruded methacrylate that is his favorite material, this year, and works with a new kind of malleable plastic with rich colors to create the installation Flysch for Interni Legacy.
Flysch is a multicolored body, like a portion of land, crossed by a river that wends its sinuous way between two banks that never touch: a reminder of the passage of time, but also the value of tradition and human rituals.
The colors represent the variety of nature, the hues of the forest, the desert and the sea.
Flysch is a mini-universe combining two dimensions of the human adventure: space and time.
The title is a term that comes from geology, referring to a very thick rock deposit composed of debris: a clear reference to the compositional technique of the installation, involving the assembly of 1800 extruded modules. These modules (nests), each measuring 45x35x20 cm, cover an aera of almost 600 m2 and are shaped by hand in special vats with futuristic materials produced by Maip (Materiali, Accessori e Impianti Plastici).
This Turin-based company founded in 1962 stands out for its research in the field of plastics, in collaboration with research centers on projects that investigate the future of polymers, and expanding the range of special aesthetic effects and compounds with specific properties, thanks to 30 technopolymers, 2800 basic colors, 15,000 different formulations, 90 special effects and 5 exclusive technologies
The Fake Factory
The project calls for the closing of 13 arches of the 1st floor of the eastern loggia with large sheets (7 x 3.5 m) digitally printed with Pantone hues selected from the “color palette” used for the products of Deborah Milano.
The installation by The Fake Factory for Deborah Milano focuses on beauty design and the communicative force of colors, which can produce a different perception of architecture: the project is not just decorative but also cognitive, encouraging viewers to take a new approach to what they see and to reflect on their customary ways of interpreting architecture, full and empty zones, form and color, physical and mental space.
A true epiphany that reaches its height of spectacle in the evening, when the screens come alive with dynamic video projections. How ready are we to let colors engage us with their beauty? Maybe this is the legacy the Color Design installation wants to leave behind
Based on the most widespread natural process in the world, the solar panel pavilion created by the Japanese architect with Panasonic gives concrete form to the ecosystem.
Photosynthesis is the only biological process capable of gathering solar energy: it captures an immense quantity and supports, directly or indirectly, the growth of all living beings on our planet.
Akihisa Hirata, born in 1971, head of the prize-winning studio Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office of Tokyo, has selected this natural process as a symbol of a design legacy, represented in the installation Photosynthesis made with Panasonic for the event Interni Legacy.
Photosynthesis is a pavilion of solar panels to transmit solar energy to LED flowers scattered in the arches of the cloister of the Cortile della Farmacia, for a spectacular translation in technology of a natural process.
Akihisa Hirata believes that architecture should share with nature the character of a living and changing entity. This sharing of processes and intentions is represented aptly in this work produced with Panasonic, in which the solar panels are not installed flat, as usual, but mounted on transparent polycarbonate supports that make them resemble the branches of a tree.
Hirata says that “a future created by man must coincide with the natural order of things, with buildings and cities that are truly part of the biosphere”. Panasonic Corporation, the international point of reference for the development and production of electronic products, is also moving in this direction, concentrating research on the creation, storage and efficient use of renewable energy.
Panasonic celebrates its centennial in 2018, as the world’s leading exponent of green innovation in the electronics industry
Tribute to Richard Meier
Clearly a work by Meier, the i.lab, the new Center of Research and Innovation of Italcementi, is an extraordinary piece of architecture, due to its elegance and its construction technique made possible by exceptional technical-scientific expertise and sophisticated engineering.
The installation-tribute by Italcementi, positioned at the center of the Cortile d’Onore below the eastern loggia, is a white ‘cusp’, an evocative reference to the large overhang of the i.lab, made with special white photocatalytic TX Active concrete.
The project by Richard Meier stands out for its painstaking work on the quality of space.
Large spaces that put people and functions into communication, along paths suggested by the architect: the large overhang of the white concrete roof, the most characteristic feature of the whole building, stretching over the landscape with an impressive 20-meter length, the columns, the wall in i.light “transparent cement”, the high glazings, the curtain wall supported only by posts in concrete, without casements, pace the crossing of the space in a spectacular setting of natural light that pervades the public and work areas, all the way to the basement levels.
Always different perspectives, where the dominant feature is the very white light reflected by the TX Active concrete