Over a four day period during the New Generations Festival, curators Edouard Cabay (Appareil, ES) and Margherita Del Grosso (MaDGStudio, IT) led an experimental workshop within a shipyard at the Historical Center of Genoa that resulted in a "Bent" installation inspired by navel construction.
"By bending wood into an (in)habitable structure reminiscent of naval craft, a dialogue was created between the medieval urban fabric of Genoa and its tradition as maritime city," says the curators. "Although is still at the heart of the city's economy, its industry has been relegated to the margins of Genoa, generating conflict and ambiguity between the shore and the urban fabric. The workshop provided an occasion to mend this detachment through an architectural installation that, rather than bringing the city towards the sea, brings the marine element back into the urban fabric."
"For this experiment participants worked with two distinctive and interwoven systems: primarily a wooden matrix, consisting of an orthogonal assembly of timber studs, it enabled to construct a volume which will rest or lean on the stones of the city, both streets and buildings. Secondly, on the primary structure a thin curved and porous surface composed of bent timber profiles, assembled as to create a continuous skin reminiscent of the shell of the vessel and the boundary between air and water.
"The initiative wasn't to faithfully reconstruct a ship that could navigate in water, but rather, through an understanding of the materiality and techniques of naval craft, to test and explore what architectural qualities it can provide in the public space of Genoa."