Baldi / The Matter of Form in Invisible Components

The Matter of Form in Invisible Components Role of Foundations

Author: Gino Baldi, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Carles Muro, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Politecnico di Milano; Registered Architect, COAC

Research stage: intermediate doctoral stage

Category: Artefact

DDR Statement

"That of fantastic hypotheses is a very simple technique. Its form is precisely that of the question: what would happen if...". 1 So, what would happen if ... if the visible part of the building disappeared and we had to reconstruct it from the evidence of the foundations? If foundations all of a sudden were completely visible and no longer hidden? If we rebuilt a building on the existing foundations? To answer these questions, is important the exercise that Pierre Zoelly, did with the section of the Pantheon, imagining it completely underground, modifying drastically its perception. 2 Drawings become the tools to analyze these possible alterations on the case studies. Methodologically, the first step of analysis is to do a radiography of the case study, looking at the invisible part, and studying its components. After the visible part is temporarily canceled (inverting the visible/invisible components), freeing foundations to new possibilities. Foundations become a palimpsest, a casting form for new possibilities, looking how many possible architectures could stay over a foundation in a theorical way and tangentially identifying new reuse strategies. This becomes an experimentation, through which an attempt is made to generate new knowledge. So, foundation become an active element, able to contribute on some possible alteration of existing case studies and identifying in part new possibility of reuse.

  1. Rodari Gianni (1973): “Che cosa succederebbe se..“, in Grammatica della fantasia, Torino: Einaudi Editore
  2. Zoelly, Pierre. Representation of Panthoen (113 - 124 d.C.)- in Alois Diethelm, “Foundation - Plinth, Building underground” in Deplazes, Andrea (2008) “Constructing architecture: material, processes, structures; a Handbook” Basel:Birkhauser