Ex Corderie dell’Arsenale, Venice
Installation | Research
5,5 x 4,5 x 1,25 m
Prof. Christian Marazzi
Prof. Marco Geddes
Prof. Francesca Romana Stabile
Installation at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale
With the story of the San Giacomo Hospital in Rome presented at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, STARTT denounces the conflicts crossing architecture and urban public spaces.
At the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, the Monditalia section described Italy through 40 architectures that were highly representative of the country’s current state.
STARTT presents the case study of the San Giacomo Hospital in Rome, an ancient public institution in the city, code 476-480 on Nolli’s map of Rome. Founded in 1339 and closed in 2008 by the Lazio Region, to be sold as part of the anti-crisis measures to control spending. The hospital complex was then abandoned, caught up in the legal battle between the public administration, supporting securitisation, and the citizens defending its public use. A sort of hole in the Nolli map: neither the black poché of the private city, nor the white field of public spaces and institutions.
THE GHOST BLOCK OF GAMBATTISTA NOLLI, conceived as a scenic machine at the centre of the columns of Corderie dell’Arsenale, reactivates the memory of San Giacomo: people can walk through the model of the hospital, suspended above the desecrated Nolli map in the form of a carpet, and observe the reconstruction of the building’s history inside.
The closure of San Giacomo questions the issue of public heritage, the role of welfare institutions and the identity of the European city, which has been articulated and stratified around its public institutions.
In its suspension as a phantom body, the San Giacomo represents a latent and powerful resource to be questioned – by the tool of the project – in order to rethink the architecture of the commons, specifically healthcare, in the time of the information and global society, within the dense and highly artificial structures of the contemporary urban condition and beyond the processes of crisis