05 April 2011

Milan Novecento Museum - Taccuini Internazionali suggests

Giorgio De Chirico, Piazza d'Italia

 Novecento Museum

A future of less narrow rooms, more space, 
more accomodation quality

"Taccuini Internazionali" suggests to aggregate the twin Arengario by unifying the buildings, and regaining new volumes on the coverings.
The planner must be selected through an international contest.

Ca' Brutta by Muzio, a bridge between 2 part off the building. 
It can be an example for the today problem to connect each other the two Arengarios

Little after the great, almost unexpected success of the first opening days of the new Milanese Novecento Museum, while TACCUINI INTERNAZIONALI was already exalting its planning qualities, both for the interior mounting and for the structure of the hosted collections, while even our magazine suggested its future expansion over the current borders, completing itself with the twin building, other voices started hazarding suggestions about the other Arengario’s recovery, and a possible connection with it.

 Milan, the twin "Arengari" in Duomo square, as they appear today.
Above the title:
the rendering shows how the complex “Novecento  Museum”could appear, once the Arengari are linked to each other through a “bridge” crossing, integrated at the height of the last levels, and elevated a floor higher, so as to house spaces for restorative and art editorial accomodation capacities.
 (project Mercatali and Partners)

Since the brilliant idea, which maybe noboby would have had before the official opening of the Museum, would have become possible due to that immediate success, we consider it useful to strenghten it by showing you the rendering so as to let you get an  overall sense of it in general terms, before you fully consider all the pros and cons. We want to present it to you again after some months, at least to keep alive a debate that we consider useful first of all for the Milanese international tourism, so that it can expand beyond the current confines, and then for a city like Milan, big and important on the financial, commeTricial and cultural side.

 The bridge inte ther Novecento Museum, connecting today the Arengario and the Royal Palace

The Museum has been appreciated by everyone who has gravitated around it, both directly and indirectly; everybody has loved the initiative, the context and the project, and the first stage of “dress rehearsals”, which has registered a great public affluence, is now over. The phase of normality is starting, and after a period of free access to the museum, the price is now €. 5,00 per head; the time has come, for anyone who is interested in it, to start a designative phase so as to determine the orientation of its spaces’ completion, by aggregating and integrating the Second Arengario.

 Novecento Museum, perspective drawing of the project’s tridimensional model.
Taccuini Internazionali has talked very positively about this project at the time of the Museum’s inauguration.
However, it hasn’t been able to give an adequate solution to the cruxes related to some exposure problems, due to the spaces’ characteristics and slenderness, especially in some sections.

The idea of aggregating the twin building is fascinating because it would allow the univocal function’s recovery of the whole complex realized in 1936 by the architects Piero Portaluppi, Enrico Griffini, Piergiulio Magistretti and Giovanni Muzio. We really appreciate this project since it would give space to the collections created during the first twenty years of the 20th Century, constituted by really fine works today confined into narrow spaces; it would also give roomines to the interiors, highlighting the Arengari’s architectural quality, especially in the rooms with columns on the first floor, which are now constrained and almost mutilated by the “comb” distribution of the exhibition panels.

Novecento Museum, the beautiful Column Gallery had to square with the insufficient space for the displayed works. The perspective view of the marble columns has thus been sacrificed, and intersected with the comb panels certainly invasive and architecturally incongruous. It is clear that new spaces are needed so as to give a decent location to all the works created before the 20th Century

We consider it indispensable to recover new spaces first of all for broadening the exposed permanent component as opposed to the one filed inside the storage areas; but also for expanding the paintings’ distribution, by giving them more autonomy and adequacy of location than it is offered now, especially in some rooms (for example the general really criticized placement of the “Forth State” by Pellizza from Volpedo).

Arengario was ispirated by the square Colusseum in Rome, at the EUR quarter, here near to a contemporary FIAT car

TACCUINI INTERNAZIONALI just wants to express what we think: a connection between the two twin buildings would be preferable at the height of the highest floor, more than underground. The first reason is related to the arrangement of the technical rooms and the ones for the works’ storage, which should be separated from the spaces bound to the public. The second reason is linked to the public’s necessity of movement at the level of the big bright rooms of the high floors, especially if, as we think, an even higher level will be created so as to host the functional service structures and the restaurants. In this case, a connection next to the terraces would be indispensable. Yes, this is in fact the proposal we put forward, and we don’t think it would cause any feasibility issues: creating a new addition, with a texture similar to the one of the “bridge”, on both of the buildings, instead of the current “pavilion” covers.

 Also the Muzio's Triennale palace was ispirated to the Novecento's milanese style of 30' ages

 The rendering that we have put at the beginning of the article, above the title, helps starting a debate about all these aspects of the issue; not only from a technical point of view (which will be discussed before the construction phase and after an International contest of ideas) but from an administrative and cultural side; thanks to this, the administrators will be able to identify all the feasibility criteria linked to the necessity of emptying the second Arengario from its offices, and the curators will take into consideration all the exhibition projects about the works  in the public collections and in the private ones, which could become part of the enlargement project.

Muzio's "Ca' Brutta" ispirates itself to the Novecento italian and milanese style of '30

With an elevation of modest identity, which wouldn’t cause a really considerable impact, you could create two new platforms, with surfaces as big as the buildings themselves, and which would offer a location for new functionalities above the square and the other surrounding buildings. This would allow the creation of comfortable restaurants (I’d like to remind you how important this aspect has been in the Tate Modern project), and the chance that the museum is lived also as a site of relax, other than a place where you can enjoy culture tout court, maybe through books about the museum’s contents that can be easily consulted. A self-service restaurant, for example, could be really useful, beside the existing restaurant which offers luxury for little affordable prices. A bar with wide bright rooms, between the first and the second part of the visit to the Museum, would become an assured stop for all the visitors (as it happens, by now, in the most part of the big European museums).

The most important painting of Novecento Museum is "Il Quarto Stato", by Pelizza da Volpedo

We hope for a quickness of choice and organization, so that a Milanese museum completeness, together with the New Contemporary Art Museum, will have become reality when Expo opens its doors, in the closer and closer 2015.

Come on then, Milanese institutions, let’s get moving! 
Enrico Mercatali
 Milan, february 28th 2011
 (translation from english by Penelope Mirott, on april 2011)

All the milanese novecentism was ispirated to the De Chirico pantings of the ages between 1920 and 1930.
Here on the backside of the Triennale Palace in Milano, the fountain by Giorgio De Chirico

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