Dietro un portale di una strada georgiana di Londra, abita una piccola grotta grigia. Le sue pareti rugate, impresse secondo il gesto della cazzuola dei muratori, indagano la dimensione erotica del costruire. Fatte di polvere di pozzolana, appaiono come una miniatura della geografia vulcanica del luogo di origine del materiale. Verso la strada, tre alte fessure celano tre ‘camere di luce’ che compongono i chiari e gli scuri della stanza. Dietro, una parete rusticata diventa scena di un emiciclo leggero. Trentasette vasi di vetro, pendenti dal soffitto su altrettanti fili neri, racchiudono colori. Colori invisibili che si disvelano all’olfatto.
Architetto: Antonino Cardillo
Cliente: Illuminum Fragrance
Fotografia e testi: Antonino Cardillo
Vasi di vetro olfattivi: ideati da Asakala Geraghty e prodotti da Elliot Walker
Impresa di costruzione: Italian Art Design Ltd.
Muratori: Adrian Paiunui Mihai, Fabio Di Monte, Gianmarco Di Monte
Pozzolana: Orsolini Amedeo, Viterbo (grazie a Michele Balzerano)
Tappeto: Natural Elements Flooring
Costruito nell’aprile del 2015
Superficie: 27 metri quadrati
Indirizzo: 41 Dover St, Mayfair, W1S 4NS, London, United Kingdom
Orario di visita: Lunedì – Venerdì 11 – 19 / Sabato 11 – 18
Grazie ad Ana Araujo, Paolo Bedetti, Asakala Geraghty, Keith Hamilton, Anna Marra, Andrea Paolo Massara, Paula O’Brien, Suzanne Trocmé.
Apollonian and Dionysian grotto. This architectural work conveys a dualistic quality. The metrics which structure the cavities of the grotto portray the idea of the rational (Apollonian). All around roughly textured surfaces investigate the idea of the irrational (Dionysian).
Eroticism from ancient architecture. Before the modern era, architecture bridged eroticism. As paintings and sculptures were permanently unified with the space, architecture was a human narrative. The small grey grotto of Dover Street celebrates the eroticism concealed in the act of the construction. Unveiled by the act of the wildly plaster casted walls and the vault created by the masons' trowel, they suggest a sensual dominance of the void.
Nymphaeum. Beyond three windows of the road the room appears semi-concealed as a nymph-house of a renaissance garden or a picturesque garden. Nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature. Thus nymph-house conveys the idea of the unfolding of the senses. It symbolises the place where human feelings are more connected to the earth and where the sense of smell is more amplified.
Chambers of light. Interstitial spaces in front of the windows are derived from the superimposition of the two perimeters of the new boundary and the existing walls of the building. They combine two diverse ratios: the 1:2 of the existing windows to the 1:4 of the new gaps which interrupt the ephemeral room perimeter. They represent the place where light is interpreted before being introduced into the main room. They are painted in a mutable green colour which adapts itself to the hue the sky light. Inside tiny mirrors beside the windows. Dialogue with the weather. Each textured surface interprets the light dispersed from the three chambers of light. Surfaces are mutable since they are in constant dialogue with the weather. Thus the architectural void resonates with the waves of light, as does the void of a sound box of musical instrument with sound waves.
Pozzolanic Ash. Delivered from the volcano Vesuvius (Naples) to London, this mineral dust was widely used in ancient Roman for building the largest constructions of the late ancient era. The most famous one is the dome of the Pantheon in Rome. Colour as a Narrative project uses exposed pozzolanic ashes and putty lime following the ancient ratio of 6:4.
Fragrances as invisible colours. Once inside, one is surrounded by grey since the narrative of the colour inhabits the olfactory plane of perception. Stripping away learnt associations built around graphics, names, ingredients encourages a more physical and intuitive experience of scent; the components of which (fragrance oils) are originally sourced from the earth. Closer to the earth within the grotto, visitors are invited to experience a rite: exploring their personal narrative, their personal journey among the thirty-seven invisible and concealed odorous places. Once fleeting and volatile each scent now inhabits its own chamber.
Theatre of the ‘Scent Suspended’. Inside the room Antonino Cardillo has arranged a half-circled path for the layout of ‘Scent Suspended’: the olfactive glass bowls designed by Asakala Geraghty and mouth blown by glass artist Elliot Walker. Exploring the cohesion among the each parts, the layout of this new organism suggests architectural references: exedra, as nymphaeum ought to be, Ottoman chandelier (where the candle has mutated into fragrance), stringed musical instrument or colonnade from the architectural hemicycles of ancient Rome and circus facades in Bath and Regent’s Park by John Nash.
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Colore come una Narrazione © Antonino Cardillo