scaffolding of curiosities

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Pinocchio children’s library / Young architects competitions / sep-dec 2017

“scaffolding of curiosities”

The adventures of Pinocchio describe the exploration of the world which is led by curiosity. Before entering the world of adults, which is defined by clear rules, norms and conventions, Pinocchio goes through a playful process of testing the limits and discovering new territories and ways of dealing with “reality”. The proposal aims at stretching and expanding this process and at giving shape to that in-between space.  The handling  of  Pinocchio children’s library focuses on delaying the passage to “normality”, on blurring the limits of spaces and activities, or stretch them towards all dimensions, in order to discover new possibilities of communicating and dealing with things. The notions of knowledge and learning become the two key issues in the proposal. On the one hand, knowledge is perceived as stored and archived elaborated inputs, implicitly or explicitly  gained and on the other hand learning is approached as a never-ending process of getting familiar with facts and situations. Knowledge and learning compose both the concept and the spatial experience of the library, based on a  qualitative contradiction between:

concentrated spatial elements, the cabinets of curiosity: movable cabinets with various contents (bookshelves, sitting groups, exhibition surfaces, storing closets etc). The cabinets    refer to the notion of knowledge, which is archived, clearly defined/limited and always accessible and an expanded spatial structure, the scaffolding: the infrastructure that bears the library’s activities the network on which the cabinets of curiosities are attached. Symbolically the scaffolding becomes the infrastructure for discovering the world referring to the never-ending process of learning. It is spread all over Collodi sometimes functioning as skeleton for specific activities and sometimes as generic matrix where children can attach their playful thoughts and desires. The way we chose to deal with the given program mirrors Pinocchio’s΄s approach to reality: we aim at playing with the limits of spaces, at breaking the given functions and surfaces into pieces and spreading them all over Collodi, so that the library and the village create a mosaic that goes beyond the limits of the given plot and where the activities of the library are interwoven with the everyday life of the village. Learning gets the character of an ongoing process and of a pop-up activity rather than a given process that takes place in a specific space.

On a second level the proposal attempts to re-materialize the fleeting digital way of getting access to information and learning. We revisit the knowledge-based society created by the digital industry: we turn the immaterial searching machines in to  the bodily experience of a scaffolding as a learning machine. We attempt to spatialize the omnipresent possibility of digitally getting access to information by physically create learning spots hovering scattered over the site and the village of Collodi. Within the given plot the main volumes/buildings are kept (the paper factory, the towers, part of the greenhouses) but revisited. To that, a new, much lighter structure in added – the scaffolding – that bears all the activities/functions with the of the light and transparent elements that create enclosures and openings. The scaffolding together with the cabinets create all the new spaces/volumes that are scattered on the plot (the foyer, the main body of the library, the exhibition space, the workshop, the cafe) while the most massive volumes (auditorium, the media space and the parking) are placed underground. The scaffolding develops towards all directions in the village, connecting points of interest (Collodi Foundation, Pinocchio’s Park, Villa Garzoni, the castle etc). With the help of the cabinets attached to it library, exhibition, workshop become episodes that one unexpectedly meets when moving around the village.

Study team:

hiboux (Dimitris Theodoropoulos, Maria Tsigara) + andearchitettura (Andrea Del Pedro Pera) + Leda Voutsina

collaborators:  Evgenia Angelaki, Viviana Ramires