Raw feelings in architecture to rediscover the value of purity

Etched carbon steel and Corian for the Pear Tree Court in London

Arte Povera


The image of this entrance to a business complex in London reflects the materic palette of lofts (white walls, wooden plank flooring, cast iron columns, natural materials) and, at the same time, the figurative dimension of the finest expressions of Arte Povera, in the metal wall installation made by Marzorati Ronchetti with large sheets of etched carbon steel.

The blank exposed brick wall to the left of the entrance has been covered with a series of metal sheets, side by side, suspended between floor and ceiling and separated from the wall to adjust for the shift imposed by the pillars and the corner partitions. The installation is backlit to underscore the detached effect, making the material seem to float in the space, as in certain works by the Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, the master of Arte Povera who at the start of the 1960s, together with a group of young artists, felt the need to challenge “traditional” art by rediscovering the value and purity of the “humblest” materials, while decontextualizing nature inside the spaces usually set aside for art exhibitions.

The black sheet metal, “raw” and enhanced by a handmade wax finish, is repeated in this entrance on part of the reception counter on which is placed, in a game of elementary forms, a gray Corian screening block that echoes the color of the portion of the floor that forms the base for the information desk.