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Rifredi Institute and Museum of Italian Design

Part 2 Project 2003
Jamie Le Gallez
Mascia Gianvanni
Kingston University Kingston-Upon-Thames UK
The project allows the public to recognize Italian design and innovation as key elements of the cultural and economic fabric of their lives. The diverse nature of public spaces, Italian Rationalist Urban Design and the importance of discrete detailing in Italian furniture and clothing design informed my approach. The scheme plays with the relationships between linings and exterior spaces, and the intermingling of the surfaces of floors and walls, windows, loggias and courtyards, where intimate and secret spaces can be transformed through use and events. It creates an architecture grounded within its context and able to engage with its neighbours.
Jamie Le Gallez
Mascia Gianvanni


Jamie came to Kingston with a solid part1 training in the orthodox modernist fashion, and he has developed further into a thoughtful and serious designer. He embodies the RIBA's description of architects as, 'essentially practical thinkers'. In his diploma project he proposed a design institute and museum for the Rifredi district of Florence. He reasoned that design is part of Italian daily life and so the distinctions between high and popular culture are less severe than in other countries. This straightforward premise was pursued with quiet confidence and calm assurance. The resulting design is indebted to the aspects of Renaissance architecture which he found inspiring, spatial porosity, extended thresholds, walls which became spaces in themselves and a general openness and massiveness that has been carefully studied and respected. He is a cheery and also pretty determined character, and his building design exhibits some of the twin and hard-to -capture contradictions, that mark mature work. Material weight and weightlessness, light qualities which become volumetric and almost-solid, public access to intimate and secret places, spaces with emphatic characters which can nonetheless be transformed through use and events. A sophisticated designer, set to surprise us.

Tutor(s)
Dr Teresa Stoppani
2003
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