Michele De Lucchi, Kengo Kuma, Eduardo Souto De Moura, and Stefano Boeri: these are just some of the names of the great Masters of Architecture whose interventions are juxtaposed to the installation of Anna Collatuzzo, Arezoo Mohebpour, and Paula Strieder, three Alumni of YACademy who designed The Journey in the period of collaboration of the same with the studio of Mario Cucinella.
Every year, YACademy guarantees to its Alumni a series of internship or collaboration experiences with the most important architectural design studios, as the completion of their training path and as a bridge to the labor market.
In 2021, a group of international students had the opportunity to collaborate with Mario Cucinella’s studio, to create an art installation to be placed in the extraordinary context of Arte Sella.
The work, inserted in the art itinerary of Villa Strobele (one of the three itineraries that make up Arte Sella’s offer), aims to be a nomadic architecture, an invitation to take a journey, but an interior one, that can strengthen the relationship between man and nature. The idea was to create a sort of sanctuary in the heart of the Trentino mountains, a light structure that becomes a connecting thread between the inside and the outside.
"Thanks to the collaboration with YACademy", Mario Cucinella says, "I had once again the opportunity to compare myself with young designers and, once again, I was struck by their creative strength. The Journey shows their ability to go beyond the limits of the present day and to imagine beyond the established patterns. This attitude can really bring about change and can open unexpected visions of the future”.
The architecture of The Journey recalls that of a curtain, made up of simple profiles grafted onto a metal sheet base ballasted with local stones. The structure is made up of wooden rods that start from two bases drawn on the profile of the golden section and meet at the top. To enter the artwork, the visitor walks on an annular path, and ends up at the center which is a sort of observation point towards the sky and the beginning of “the journey”: once the visitor arrives at the heart of the work, they are inside an intimate but open space, where it is also possible to stop and look towards the sky sitting on a large stone coming from the Moggio stream, which flows close by. The meeting between the two elements - earth and sky – symbolizes, in its simplicity, a return to the origins as well as the precarious and nomadic character of human existence compared to the life of a constantly changing planet, which makes everyone experience their own smallness and transience.
The entire project was conceived to be Climate Positive, thus providing for the absorption of more greenhouse gases than those emitted during the construction of the work and thus embodying the desire to leave a better world to the new generations. To achieve this result, the installation of the artwork was accompanied by the restoration and maintenance interventions of the Val di Sella forests and the planting of new trees of different species (maple, birch, rowan, beech, hornbeam, hazelnut, and spruce) in the vicinity of the artwork, as a reforestation work in the area. The installation will thus leave the territory that has welcomed it better than how it was, thus creating a tangible synergy between art and nature. The environmental projects will be realized within the 12 hectares of the Arte Sella exhibition areas, which were severely damaged in 2018 by the Vaia storm that hit the valley and the entire Triveneto area, destroying millions of trees and defacing the Valsugana mountains. The planting and maintenance interventions were coordinated by Etifor through the WOWnature initiative.
"Architecture responds to human needs, from the primary to more complex ones" states Alessandro Cecchini, director of YACademy. "The Journey represents the meeting point between these needs, presenting itself as a shelter and at the same time as a temple, a meeting point for the earthly and spiritual levels of humankind. In its nature of nomadic architecture, The Journey treats travel as an archetype, change as the very condition of existence, the - irrepressible – need to leave a significant trace for the future as a message of respect and care for the environment which, today more than ever, must be considered as sacred".
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