He, installation in Rome, Italy

He is a complex architectural garden made of a lawn, a big platform and a light volume suspended in front of the concrete walls of MAXXI’s galleries.

The protagonist of the scene is the large suspended volume, which through its size, color, the recreational use of water and its shadow establishes an interaction with the museum outdoor spaces, receiving its resting places. The transparency and the apparent weightlessness of the installation generates a dialogue and a stimulating contrast with the imposing masses of the museum and its sinuous geometries.

The large volume follows the wind movement, emphasizing the lightness of the materials that compose it. The color and transparency of the material, in contrast to the mineral character of the museum, give amazing color reflections that vary with the incidence of light onto the volume façades, allowing He to change his appearance during the day. As evening falls, He becomes a big suspended lantern, a landmark that enlightens MAXXI and its piazza. The realization of He is the result of an experimental process and a multidisciplinary approach aimed at resolving both the engineering challenge of suspending the volume upon the square, both the manufacturing of the installation, involving skills, techniques and details typical of rigging, climbing and nautical science.

The need to minimize the structures found an answer in a superior ring realized entirely in stretch steel cables, which allows the suspension of the volume. The textile volume have been realized with a material commonly use in agriculture which have been handicraft manufactured with nautical details. This has made possible the inedited use of the material, whose typical features could not allow the flatness of He’s surfaces, and the interesting moiré effect from the superimposition of fabric. The design of the square is also ruled by the yellow color, by the out-of-scale logic and the use of materials out of their context.

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The garden below the textile volume is organized with a wooden platform and a lawn which defines a bank used as an informal seat. The seating system is designed with an ergonomics approach, enhancing the comfort during the layover. On the platform various large seatings are shaped with large backrests ensuring both the comfort of the layover and a playful use. Along the perimeter of the volume a timed system produces a light rain that drops on the platform underneath, defining the space and refreshing the visitors. In the evening the platform become YAP event stage, recreating a new centrality in the museum square.

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