Renzo Piano Building Workshop - Piece by Piece

Jan Kratochvíl
15.03.2014 12:49

It is very difficult to successfully exhibit architecture. Nothing can really substitute actually being in the building itself, the feeling of the hybrid texture of a city, the continuous stream of voices that make up the sounds of life. An architectural exhibition can, however, clearly transmit something of the complex and shared process through which the buildings we design are conceived, constructed and then inhabited. The exhibition is therefore a partial vision, consisting of the designs, materials and tools that made up this painstaking process, those that you would find on an architect’s workbench. An exhibition can also talk about the range of elements that make up our trade as architects: the tests conducted and progress made, but also our changes of direction and disappointments. The way in which an exhibition is presented can, by implication, also communicate a style, or language, an expressive intent. For us this expression is something we call ‘the poetry of lightness’, of lighting and of movement. We have put together this exhibition at the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua to enable the visitor to explore various different worlds: the social aspect of the ever-changing polis; the poetic idea of an absence of gravity; the construction itself; and the ideal, the concept of art as a powerful tool of collective consciousness. These worlds constantly run into one another and overlap, their boundaries blur. The large monographic tables in the exhibition are conceived as islands in an archipelago. Above them, higher up, everything soars, hangs suspended in the air. The idea of an absence of gravity – that which characterises our work, the motif of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop – is expressed semantically through ‘floating’ models and the pictures on the enormous vaulted ceiling of the Salone of the Palazzo della Ragione. I like to think of this exhibition like a journey through space. Renzo Piano
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