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Mambo, Modern Art museum


Mambo,  Modern Art museum
By Editorial Staff -

One of Italy’s historic cultural centres, Bologna has been the focus of an intense urban regeneration scheme. The city’s former tobacco factory has been turned into a visual arts centre - called in deference to its former name, “Manifattura delle Arti” - with a multi-purpose area at the “Salara”, and nearby theatrical laboratories for the Dams University Faculty. The municipal film archives and library are now housed in the former slaughterhouse. First conceived in 1999, the MAMBo project to provide a new location for the city’s Modern Art Museum is part of this revitalisation programme. The location chosen, a former bread factory, was a particularly difficult brief. The complex, comprising a series of buildings that had grown up over time, had to reflect the contemporary nature of the institution it housed as a venue that goes beyond the classical idea of a museum as a container, to become an active promoter of art and artistic activities. This go-ahead, forward-looking approach was confirmed by MAMBo’s inaugural exhibition “Vertigo”, organized by Gianfranco Maraniello, the museum’s young director, and curated by Germano Celant. Similarly, the exhibition’s setting, designed by Denis Santachiara, highlights the communicative and expressive use of space: huge, inflatable “arch” structures relate with permanent architectural features and temporary exhibition elements. The new MAMBo is characterized by some 8,000 sqm of flexible spaces susceptible of integration. Although renovation preserved the original structure, it eliminated the building’s excessive fragmentation, and rationalized the ground plan to create functional circulation and exhibition routes. Functional and architectural links between old and new, and between the urban and architectural scales are evidenced by new walls and stand-alone stone units within the complex. Deliberately designed to provide a minimalist, neutral backdrop to the various types of contemporary art activities, the interiors have...

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