Yap Maxxi 2018 Pavilion

Our short experience at SUMMARY studio is all about modularity and prefabrication – transportable architecture (normally made out of concrete), optimized, cheap, sometimes not finished, brutally functional. It’s also clearly more related with permanent rather than temporary solutions. Concrete is a symbol of timelessness.
In this case, we got invited to propose something temporary. The program from YAP MAXXI 2018 is short and clear: space for outdoor activities, space showing research and innovation with particular attention to ecological issues and ludic spaces with shadow, seats and water. The budget assigned to address this program (€80000, VAT included) is also quite generous. So, what is the challenge here?
For us the challenge is to build this temporary installation having a useful propose to reuse it after its disassembly. Therefore “what happens next?” has become a central question for us in this project for two reasons.
1. We assume this installation as an extension of the Museum itself. MAXXI doesn’t exist just to exhibit curatorial projects (as we believe this installation shouldn’t exist just to provide a beautiful and comfortable external space); Its mission serves higher proposes that overcome the physical limits of the museum, such as to promote the debate, to aware the visitors about the present-day political and social context and, consequently, to foster strategies for a positive development of the city. By defining what happens next with this temporary installation, and informing the visitors about it, we would be giving a step forward in this mission.
2. Defining what happens next is not part of the requested program. However, we assume it as part of an implicit program. Considering that any building act implies to exploit natural resources and to spend energy, “recycling” and “reusing” it represents a serious and operative strategy to promote the ecological effectiveness of this installation.
We started in the inverse way, by defining what happens next before than defining what is the installation.

What Happens Next, after the installation disassembly?
It’s well known the brutal social issue Rome is experimenting at this very moment related with displaced people (refugees and forced immigrants). We propose to use this opportunity, these resources and this energy to build something permanent to address some of the current needs of this people, even in a very small scale. Not as a charity move, rather as a simple and pragmatic optimization of the money and material we would spend anyway.
It’s also true we are outsiders in this field. We don’t know either what are those needs or how a building may give a small contribute in this matter. Having it into account, we talked with some institutions which have been developing recognized work in that area. We’ve found Diritti al Cuore, which in fact is currently in need of a small medical centre, to take care of some urgent hygienic and health situations. Rather than the installation, we started designing this building according to their needs.

What Happens before? > The Installation
The prefab pieces are used to address in a very direct way the YAP MAXXI 2018 requested program, creating kind of a “concrete pergola” functioning as a temporary and shaded external space to host several activities. The formal appearance of this installation will correspond to what it really is: a provisory stage for a few concrete pieces that will become a building soon. Actually it does look almost as a building site.
This pergola will get ventilated, water-pulverized and illuminated through a solar energy system integrated in the roof of the installation, which activates these actions only when it detects the presence of someone. The wooden logs needed to accommodate the pieces during the transportation will be used as informal seats around the area, as well as some residual concrete blocks that will be taken from the factory’s depository with no cost. The concrete pieces are partially coated with natural cork panels. They work as “pillows” to prevent damages during the transportation process and they will also work as a thermal insulation layer for the final building.
Apart from these technological/material choices, the core of the sustainable approach claimed by this installation resides in the fact that it transforms something temporary into something permanently useful.


CLIENT: Competition
YEAR: 2018
TYPE: Temporary pavillon
PROJECT LEADER: Samuel Gonçalves
PROJECT TEAM: Inês Vieira Rodrigues, Luca Sabbadini, Giacomo Tacchi, Andrea Ferro
RENDERS: Alban Wagener