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Vincenzo Casali Studio





What makes the building fascinating is its state of decay. In this way, it has preserved its soul and the visitor who walks through its spaces finds himself imagining the layers and layers of what might have been.
This tension should be preserved in some way, at least in certain spaces.
The image from above give us the idea of a doll-house, where to install always different scenes. In some views attached to the web site, the building stands in the countryside, as a piece out of time for its exceptional romantic presence. More than a ruin, the architectural volume is complete, as a doll house. It looks like a giant model: an actual scale model. A dream to walk in through.
The empty, unnaturally high volumes should give the experience of walking through an unconventional architectural “promenade”
This promenade should be liberated from obvious spatial references such as the former floors, beams and windows, as if the visitor could fly through the space like a child flying through his imagination as he plays with a dolls’ house, or with a model, with an infinite number of characters, plots and imaginative games.



Vincenzo Casali Studio


Previous experiences

We all know that the art spaces of the future will be different from white boxes with grey floors and neon lighting, even if that model will endure as the classical style of the contemporary age. My long experience in Venice as a consultant for Biennale pavilions, most of which are not part of the official circuit, has given me the opportunity to work with curators, artists, technical sponsors, tenants and space owners, architects and suppliers, photographers and communication and advertising staff. Given that we are often working with a very defined spatial situation, all of us have to think creatively about our own roles in order to discover the best possible solution for the installation of the new art work.
Artworks and installations in Venice have an ambiguous relationship with both the place and the time. The memory of the past is always there, passing through the space, yet contemporary Venetian daily life, which is often strange and surprising, is also present. Anyone who spends a short time in that city must adjust to its unique atmosphere.
Both this experience of working in Venice and looking at many other art spaces all around the world, has shown me that yes, we do still need tall, empty spaces and big surfaces. But if the space has a specific feature, that is the point where the artist very often will focus his work.


THe pavilion of postcontemporary curating


Architectural project

It will be necessary to protect some areas of these empty surfaces, to define a successful lay-out including all the services and offices that a Pavilion of Postcontemporary Curating will need. On the other hand, it would be good to leave some of these exceptional and challenging volumes as they are now.
We could preserve this unique feature if we cover the spaces being the most transparent on all sides and, in the exhibition and performing areas, reflecting the empty volumes on a mirror ceiling, so that from a walking distance, quite close to the building, we could already read the unique sequence of spaces inside.


Architectural project



In these proposals, you see that the East front side remains as an open-air sequence of spaces. The connected exhibition spaces and performing areas on the North side instead are covered with a structure that departs from the existing walls above the floor. This leaves the floor free. The ceiling is a mirror which reflects the empty volumes below.
In some of these empty volumes, the architectural promenade starts the connection through the 1st and 2nd floor in some areas. This will give visitors the chance to experience the space from this unusual height. Some areas are free from floor to ceiling (sky). Some others have this feature. It will work in a similar way to Siza’s room in CGAC Santiago Compostela where artists very often work installing pieces referring to this specific spatial feature.
Individual architectural details could have a very weak presence in their relationship with the artworks, even if those elements are precious, or in some cases, particularly because of this. Artists often want to avoid contamination with over-designed architectural elements and furniture. But if the designed piece has coherence, this adds quality to the space and it can be integrated extremely successfully.



Vincenzo Casali architectural proposal




Actual structure: preserved and restored in its surfaces and volumes, consistence with the new lay-out.
Concrete floors including heating and cooling system, including plugs and cables and conducts for technological devices : power, lights, sound, data.
Metal structure for bearing parts and frames. Exposed concrete for staircase and ramps. Glass for parapet.
Glass transparent surfaces the most extended, reduced frame. Partially opaque glass for working areas.
General neon light for working and services areas, plus arrangement for spot lights in the exhibition spaces;



East side view of the building



View from above

Interior staircase




Gallery view





Gallery and ceiling view




a Entrance through west side, former back courtyard
b Entrance lobby
c Elevator
d Shop bookshop
e Cafeteria
f Pantry
g Performing area/Event space
h Exhibition area
i Meetings/ education
j Mechanical
k Storage/ Holding
l Clean Room
m Offices/staff
n Centre of Attention and archive.
o Library
p Archive
q research facilities and study resource
r studios and accommodation
s gallery dedicated to the history of the house.



Ground Floor plans



Vincenzo Casali floorplans for the 1st floor

The second floor of the pavilion



Concept by Vincenzo Casali Studio: