13 febbraio 2012

contemporary sicily

sicilia contemporanea 

It would has been too easy speaking of Lombardia, Veneto or Emilia Romagna.
In the later years
undoubtedly something’s moving even in this region so far from being  "virtuous", but endowed with an unquestionable potential.
Maybe also thanks to the wonderful publicity had with the TV serie of Commissario Montalbano, some months ago broadcasted even on BBC, yes you've read correctly, the British television ...
To tell the truth we’re talking particularly about the triangle Ragusa - Modica-Noto, Unesco World Heritage since 2002 as Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto.
To end with the icing on the cake, the Lonely Planet puts the above-mentioned triangle in the list of the best tourist destinations in the world for 2012.
Therefore it’s no accident that just in this area, it’s possible to find some considerable examples of good-quality contemporary architecture.
I’m writing it with great pleasure, in view of Ragusan origins of my family...

The beautiful tourist port of Marina di Ragusa, inaugurated in 2009 and carried out in a short time not tipical of "Sicilia" with the project financing, is enriched by the control tower, design by the most elegant and talented architect of the Region, Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo.

  

The "technological" nature of the intervention drives her a little bit out of the Mediterranean taste, more towards a red Jean Nouvel style, maybe calling Turin experience back to mind. I don’t know what to say about her, she is a guaranty, and his works have already been published several times over the years, especially, but not only, on Abitare and she is fairly well known, but still less than she’d deserve.

 
Architrend, architectural firm by Carmelo Tumino and Gaetano Manganello, has been working for many years in Ragusa area and already has a fairly consistent number of projects built. This fact is already a note of great merit by itself, for high quality of their architecture and his curriculum fed by word of mouth.


Already well known in Sicily, thanks to several exhibitions, events and publications, besides the usual Progetti & Concorsi by Sole 24 ore, I think that none of major magazine has published them and this seems rather strange to me. If they had done in Netherlands what they are doing around Marina di Ragusa, I’m sure they’d already be published in leading magazines and in a monograph on emerging architects. I didn’t say Netherlands by accident, because their studio (a building designed by themselves, like international firms use to do) looks just like a Dutch contemporary work, which I think is a great compliment (and I hope they agree with me, if they ever read this post).


We should look for their models in the rationalist language, especially in its more minimalist soul and that's what makes them so contemporary.
The elegance of their works, above all of the wonderful villa GM, I feel very close to the poetics of Neutra and Mies and I think that, without knowing anything, it suggests to California (as rightly said Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi).


These excellent references to the great masters make their architecture simple, but never boring, always looking for expressive elements that give character, in moderation, out of any sensational result.



Apart from "American" models, it is wonderful that villas are in Marina di Ragusa, in the outskirts of the world, but in a place that for light, water, food, history and architecture (for the moment the late-Baroque), a good part of that world envies us.