Grattacielo Intesa Sanpaolo ‘’α-cromactive’’Turin

Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto, Migliore+Servetto Architects, with an international team of architects and designers, conceive on different scales, projects characterized by an expressive use of light and new technologies. They have been awarded with many international prizes, such as the XXI (2008), the XXIII (2014) and the XXV (2018) Compasso d’Oro ADI. Ico Migliore is professor at the Politecnico di Milano – where they worked alongside Achille Castiglioni – and is Chair Professor at the Dongseo University in Busan (South Korea). Mara Servetto is Visiting Professor at the Joshibi University of Tokyo (Japan).

The installation designed by Migliore+Servetto Architects for the grattacielo Intesa Sanpaolo in Turin to mark the occasion of “Luci d’artista” is a dynamic work in which light and reflections expand, turning it into a pulsating organism. The work is articulated as two elements shaped on the basis of the “alpha” symbol. The repetition of this age-old character, which is charged with many positive elements and refers back to the origin of everything, generates a spiral movement shifting from the interior to the exterior of the skyscraper.

How did you interpret the place of technology and art in dynamic sculpture that seems to float in the air?  

This particular object, which is a lighting installation, is the result of our researches focused on the use of materials and light. In fact, αcromactive is very sensitive to changes in the light because of the special material its scales are made of: it allows the object to emanate light itself, reflect natural light and reverberate its colours at the same time. It is indeed thanks to an innovative technology that it is possible to observe this iridescent vortex that constantly reflects natural light and characterizes itself as an artwork as well.

Could you inform us about the material and impressive colour palette of the installation?

Advanced silk-screen printing technology that uses an algorithm was applied to suspended methacrylate sheets to optimise the diffusion of the light, transforming transparent sheets into dynamic planes of light. In addition, a special dichroic film calendered on one side of each sheet pulverises the light into a hundred reflections within the space, bringing the installation to life during the day with a strong presence. The lighting is based on LED sources with low energy consumption, and is controlled by a DMX system in order to create suggestive settings. In fact, the DMX system allows for a variation in the intensity of the light during the different moments of the day by modulating the brightness according to the level of light in the space, paying particular attention to the monitoring of consumption.

What is the meaning of the ‘alpha’ form of installation, which is a part of Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper?  

The work, which was designed for the event “Luci d’artista” and then became permanent within the bioclimatic greenhouse of the skyscraper, is shaped on the basis of the “alpha” symbol which is charged with many positive elements in the finance sector and also refers back to the ancient concept of the origin of everything.

You mentioned that the installation acts as a natural landscape, where shadow, light and atmospheric elements come inside and modify perception. Did you get the perception you expected as a feedback from the viewer? 

Yes, this is such a dynamic object of art that urges people to come back and see how the installation modifies the perception in different times and light conditions. Visitors got the impression that the artwork is never the same and this particular attitude emphasizes our approach aimed at enhancing the visit as unique experience. Paraphrasing the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, you cannot step in the same river twice, with this project we think we stressed this concept, the external and internal conditions affect and modify the perception, that’s way seeing this installation only once is not enough. And this is confirmed by people.

Photo by Michele d’Ottavio, Daniele Bottalo e Stefania Kalogeropoulos

Interview: Özlem Kan

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