Augmented Architecture: Mapei with Cino Zucchi at the FuoriSalone 2021

Cino and Chiara Zucchi’s augmented architecture inspired by Mapei on display at Milan Statale University

September 1, 2021

Milan, 1st September 2021 – Mapei is presenting Augmented Architecture, a work designed by the architect Cino Zucchi, involved in the FuoriSalone of Milan Furniture show for the first time, and his daughter Chiara, a designer and multimedia artist, as part of the ‘Interni Creative Connections’ exhibition[1].

Installed near the entrance gate and honorary northern stairway in “Richini’s” courtyard at Milan Statale University, the work consists in a simple and yet effective element: a great mask with polymer covering reproducing the upper part of the existing portal expandend six times along its horizontal axis.

This “explosion” of the figure that heightens the details of the moldings and sculptures through their significant distortion, increase the salient features of the portal, rather than covering them like other previous installations, and generates a dense figure of new meaning.

A creative process that is inspired by the very essence of Mapei which, in the words of Cino Zucchi, does not have a figure of its own but rather intervenes to bind different elements and give life to new forms or enhance and restore existing ones.

“Augmented Architecture wants to interpret both a specific place and the company Mapei, looking for a temporary intersection between their important histories and current states – so Zucchi stated -. Mapei products do not have their own figure, they act as a means of bringing together existing constructions elements or reinterpret them through interventions designed to protect, colour or insulate. That is why this work looks so simple and effective, capable of directly conveying Mapei’s commitment to conserve and reinterpret human environments increasingly enhancing the concepts of durability, restoration and sustainability”.

Veronica Squinzi, Mapei’s CEO, added: “After the interruption due to the pandemic, some difficult moments and plenty of uncertainties, Mapei is once again at the FuoriSalone to support the revival of the furniture and building sectors and reassert Italy and Milan’s position at the very forefront of design and industry. We are delighted to be partners with the architect Cino Zuccchi, who shares values we hold (such as restoring and conserving the historical-artistic heritage and a commitment to increasingly long lasting and sustainable building) and loves this place and this city as much as us. With his incredible sensibility, expertise and an ability to see the essence of the things, Cino Zucchi has managed to embody the very nature of Mapei and its contribution to the building world”.

The same creative process resulting in the creation of the installation conforms with the basic values underscoring Mapei’s own research, according to which knowledge is obtained through discoveries and gradual improvements based on studying the facts. The first step was to make a 3D scan of the gate, which had already been studied by the architect Zucchi for his book entitled “L’architettura dei cortili milanesi 1535 – 1706”. Next the actual form of the work was created, a kind of mask reproducing the top part of the entrance blown up six times along the horizontal axis to focus on its physiognomy. Lastly, the sculpture was attached to the ceiling from which it hangs and completed with a polymer cover that creates vibrant light effects.

[1] Credits: Cino Zucchi Architetti (Cino Zucchi, Stefano Goffi with Francesco Biccheri, Emad Lajevardi) and Chiara Zucchi


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