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Lust For Ruins: Architecture of Air

Part 2 Project 2014
Irina Dashkovsky
University of Brighton | UK
The lust for ruins in Rome manifested itself as stagnation of city’s fabric. However some ruins persist beyond the past and evolve with the times. The ‘living’ ruins of ancient Teatro di Marcello demonstrate the consequential evolution of the ruin that could be an example how lust for the past could live in the present. This project continues to extend the potential of the site to ‘live’ beyond its tourist attraction. The project challenged the typical lust for ruins in Rome for lust of a different kind – an authentic experience of the past revived by new architecture and technology.

The Architecture of Air is concerned with light-weight, pneumatically constructed, architecturally and technologically stitched architecture. The past is revealed through the act of making of some of Italian crafts such as glass blowing, ceramics, paper making and textile trades. The experience of making provides more than the object – an authenticity of pleasure of the past and an understanding beyond the object. Similar the architecture is not anymore a singularity of an object but rather multiplicity of individual bubbles. The performance of making glass, paper, weaving and leather pieces were part of the community of traders which once existed within the theatre’s arches prior to their eviction in 1920s during Mussolini regime.

The intent of the project concentrated on exhibiting the stitch between each historical alteration of the theatre, and its interpretation through a contrasting contextual modernity. Translation of experiential authenticity embodied in process of making, juxtaposing ruin and kinetic fluctuation through working craft set on lifted in the air platforms and interactive inflatable bubbles. The architectural expression thus proposes an alternative method of craft preservation to evolve a different identity of the lust for ruin that ‘lives’.

The Architecture of Air offers to Teatro di Marcello another future and the ruin evolves yet again bringing in new disguise. In the city to utilise air as agency for architecture that can address heritage is something that considers architecture at different levels – spatially, technologically, structurally and most importantly has significant consequence for future occupation of the city across the world.

Irina Dashkovsky

Nick Hayhurst

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