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Showcase Architecture

Studio Kuadra

Showcase Architecture
By Valerio Paolo Mosco -
Marazzi, Ragno, Ponzio have participated in the project

There was a season in Italian architecture we could call “showcase building”. It was the late 1950s. Reconstruction after the war had been completed and the authorities were beginning to invest in the restoration of its stock of dilapidated or war-damaged museums. The generation of architects that had trained before the war in the school of Italian Rationalism was called in to do the job.

Over a relatively short period, the likes of Franco Albini and Franca Helg, Carlo Scarpa, BBPR, Luigi Moretti, Renzo Zavanella, Luciano Baldessari, and others, designed and built outstanding museums. Acclaimed the world over, they put a new face on Italian architecture, which up to then was still synonymous with its fascist past. Not only museums were built but also exhibition pavilions, itinerant and temporary structures, these latter giving designers freedom to experiment with different expressive forms despite an increasingly straitjacketed market. Scrolling through the many sophisticated installations of that period gives a clear idea of the vibrant energy driving Italian eclecticism and the ability of its proponents to take modern architectural expression and adapt it to their immediate context.

Talking today about their work and poetic, Studio Kuadra acknowledge their debt to these exhibition designers with whom they began their careers. Producing installations – especially large-scale facilities – means working closely with your clients, usually also within tight timeframes. That means producing a design that best interprets the client’s requirement to convey its brand and products through a construction. This, in turn, entails many different skills ranging from architecture to design and graphics, which is why the Studio Kuadra team is made up of such a broad spectrum of different professionals. However, almost as if to balance the work meeting temporary showcase needs, over the years the practice has also specialized in...

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