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Nord disputandum est

In recent times I have noticed, studying some drawings of contemporary architecture, that the symbol of the north is always present but does not absolutely affect the decisions of the project, especially as regards the choices related to the use of natural light. Historically, in the architectural project, the control of sunlight has always been an aspect that is always present and never neglected, today it is almost completely forgotten.The attention that Francesco Venezia places on this issue has led me to reflect in particular on two aspects of the small pavilion project created in collaboration with Ettore Spalletti for Arch and Art at the Milan Triennale. On the one hand, the architect's idea of ​​detaching the "shrine" from the main body so that the sunlight, beating on a white wall for reflection and sprinkling the work of diffused light. On the other hand, the artist's gesture of placing the work tilted in order to receive the multiple reflections of the light, enhancing the "tear", the only small light of the entire project. Light plays a leading role here. The shape, the materials, the colors, all promote a strong relationship with the light and the luminous rays that contribute to the shape of the space and to the enhancement of the work of art. Francesco Venezia catches my attention even more when, during one of his lessons, he quotes Alvar Aalto telling of the difficulties he encountered working in Finland, a place where natural light is available for a few hours a day. Aalto studying the direction and reflection of light made it a strong point. Using natural light is not something obvious! It is architecture that bends and shapes itself in harmony with it. Perhaps we should learn to design as if artificial light did not exist, because while the latter is invariant with respect to climatic conditions, the passage of a cloud or at sunset, the sunlight is alive and full of sensations. It is from here that we must start, from looking at the architectures designed in relation to natural light and starting to think of this element as a strength, a design need necessary to give importance to that little symbol of the north - forgotten - and thus create, a fascinating conversation between space and light source.

Erica Scalcione

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