Being in a Biennale – Intervista #07 a Rahul Mehrotra
Nell'intervista che ci ha concesso a Venezia, l'architetto indiano Rahul Mehrotra — vincitore della menzione speciale per il suo intervento Soft Thresholds — sottolinea l'importanza delle soglie simboliche e fisiche nello sviluppo degli spazi aperti. Si nota uno sguardo entusiasta ma anche critico circa le biennali, forse troppo retrospettive quando invece dovrebbero puntare a mettere in discussione il presente e immaginare un future migliore.
[testo di presentazione tratto dal sito ufficiale della Biennale di architettura di Venezia]
RMA Architects: Rahul Mehrotra with Nondita Correa Mehrotra, Robert Stephens e Payal Patel
Biennale di Architettura di Venezia - Padiglione centrale
Soft thresholds are crucial to the construction of free spaces. As points of entry and exit, thresholds have a dual coding in society as both physical and symbolic markers of separation and connection. Too often, thresholds divide human activity, and architecture can unwittingly contribute to different forms of separation, manifested through interpretations of culture, religion, or legislation. Can architecture and planning intentionally construct soft thresholds – lines that are easily traversed, even temporarily erased – thereby allowing for productive transgressions and multiple perspectives across different modes of practice and social connection?
RMA Architects, presented three projects emblematic of the compulsive drive of the practice to create spaces of inclusiveness, exchange and empathy situated in the diverse landscapes of India. The installation is organized around representing three components, one crucial to each project: the gardeners' cat walk of the KMC Corporate Headquarters, the shared courtyard of the Hathigaon: Housing for Mahouts and their Elephants, and the foot bridge in the courtyard of the CEPT University Library. Each of these spaces is the embodiment of the project ideals as an architectural interface -- between interior and exterior, new and old, gardener and corporate executive, human and animal. These spaces are represented in part or whole at full scale, defined by layered, transparent, floating scrims which provoke multiple readings of occupation, overlap and blur. Visitors are invited to experience and inhabit the scale and atmosphere of these spaces, but not their material presence.
The installation was printed on viola fabric - scrims and was transparent as a way to metaphorically and literally suggest the sift thresholds. this was complimented by videos that were projected on the screens.