No architecture lover should miss a current exhibition at the MAXXI, though in fact there’s a lot more to it than architecture. RE-CYCLE – Strategies for Architecture, the City and the Planet posits recycling as one of the prime drivers of innovation in the 21st century, showing works from various disciplines using waste materials inventively.
In over 80 displays in the main part of the exhibition, architectural drawings and models alongside art and design works and video and musical creations vouch for limitless creative potential. Commitment to green solutions has quite a history: one of the oldest projects illustrated is the restaurant housed in a couple of disused railway carriages in Italy’s Val Formazza (Wagristoratore by Piero Portaluppi, 1930). From there to New York’s High Line, of which the second phase was completed last year, RE-CYCLE presents remarkable eco-architectural achievements from all over the globe.
Also part of the exhibition is a chilling collection of photographs of a huge technological waste dump in Ghana by Pieter Hugo entitled Permanent Error, and two installations outdoors: the Maloca art project by Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana, and Officina Roma, a house built entirely from reused parts (old window frames and car doors, oil barrels and bottles) in a week-long workshop with high-school kids run by the German collective raumlaborberlin.
MAXXI Architettura houses impressive permanent collections of plans, photographs, models, sculptures, drawings and reviews documenting the work of Italy’s foremost 20th and 21st century architects, as well as over 1,000 prints by acclaimed photographers.
It’s perhaps a pity that RE-CYCLE is mounted using materials that appear to be brand new. Still, it’s quite an eye-opener. The exhibition is curated by Pippo Ciorra and runs until May 20.