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This Installation In Milan Immerses Viewers In A “Reverse Point Of View”

During the recently concluded Fuorisalone at the Milan Design Week 2018, Rome-based architectural and urban planning practice Labics presented the project Visionair, an installation insisting on reversing the point of view. As part of the architecture studio’s years of research themed on the relationship of space and structure, the prototype immerses viewers in a different kind of experience.




We asked the brains behind this concept to talk about the project. Here, learn how such a display was conceived, its goal, and more about Visionair.


How was the idea of the project first brought up?

The idea behind the project comes from a reflection on the theme of the reversal of the point of view, concept used by Elica to describe the paradigm shift underlying the recent experiments conducted on aspiring hob. But we wanted to design not only an object but a space, an unusual space that invites the visitor to enter a surreal and upside-down dimension of reality. So the Ulisse down is not something to see but to experience.

The act of crossing a threshold, of entering an interior space, alludes to the imaginary of the home, which welcomes and protects. But it is also a metaphor for a large door through which it is possible to access the Elica universe. The choice of mirroring materials creates an abstract image from the outside and immersive from the inside. As in a kaleidoscope, the video images of the interior are broken down, overturned, recomposed in new forms, generating an unexpected story of which the visitor is completely part of–a story which is a metaphor of a new point of view.


How and what did you prepare for this project?

Once we found the idea, we did two different operations. On one side, we looked for a relation with the Ca Granda: the installation, completely independent of the context in terms of language and materials. Then, a strong dialectic relationship with the existing through a close dialogue with the neighboring portico, finding in it its own geometric and spatial matrix. The basic model is generated starting from the rhythm of the portico, a square matrix of 1.17 m–one third of the intercoluminio–and consists of the intersection of three families of vertical surfaces: two oriented parallel to the porticoes, one inclined at 45°. Starting from this simple geometry three cutting operations were carried out: the first generates the internal space, the second accommodates the existing tree, making it become part of the composition, and the third finally defines the diagonal section that tends towards the sky.

The second choice was to work with a structure, which, read as a prototype, is part of a research path that Labics has been carrying out for years on the relationship between structure and space and on the idea of the supporting structure as an element of maximum reduction of the architecture.


How long did it take you to finish this project?

We did it all in 45 days–project and construction.


Were there any alterations from the original concept or did it come out just the way you thought it would?

It came out just the way we thought it would. There were just small changes that have occurred on the construction sides but not on the concept or the image itself.


How did you select the materials for the installation?

The idea was to use a cheap, rough but resistant material like the OBS, a material used for construction, painted black together with a shiny surface like the mirror.


What is the ultimate goal in creating Visionair?

We had different goals: to create something coherent with the brief given by the client, to be able to involve the visitors in an immersive and interactive space, and finally, to take forward our research in term of the relation between structure and space.


Photographs by Marco Cappelletti