Architecture - Design - Performing & Visual Arts

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About Us

Every architectural shape – even the most subtle, essential or minimalist – is an ornamental form, compared with nature. We are invisible machines that generate systems.

Valerio Maria Ferrari















In Preda, Luigia Riva, CND, Paris, France

A long table of 5 meters permitted to the dancer Laura Frigato to develop the charachter of a ill woman. The choreography was by Luigia Riva. Obsession of sickness, obsession of an affected body and masochiste relationship with doctors were the three guidelines of the research. Iron-props as short trees, videos and cables were surronding the suffering woman in a perverse arena. Video by Jean Baptiste Erreca. Music by Samon Takahashi.Centre National de la Dance, Paris, 2002.

In Discesa, Luigia Riva, La Chaux des Fond, Switzerland

Installation on site. Minimalist squares of japanese paper where located on the risers of the staircase. Opacity between the riser’s space helped to concentrate on the part of the body that was sliding down (Luigia Riva) the stair. The video was by Jean-Baptiste Erreca. Music By Joseph Marzella. Musà©e des Art Dà©coratives, La Chaux de Fond, Switzerland, August 2004.

OperaFood Milan Italy

Trilogy Part 2, Cartesius cantus, Opera House, Tirana, 2003 Albania

Part 2 of the trilogy comes in the form of a 12-part piano concert titled “Cartesius Cantus” and interpreted by Russian pianist, Mikhail Dubov. The theme of the migration experience is juxtaposed between the real and the virtual. The figure of the pianist is mirrored into multiple images all across the stage foreground, making it hard to distinguish between the real and the virtual. It is the incarnation of absence, i.e, the very experience felt not only by the person leaving (homesickness) but also by those remaining at home and who have to deal with the sense of emptiness. At the beginning of Part 4, a video camera films and projects images of part of the audience in real time. Because of the total darkness, the images are tinged with green – like televised scenes of nighttime warfare. Parts 8, 9 and 12 are accompanied by three short abstract films titled “Earth”, “Water” and “Desent into Hell” which underscore in different ways the themes of truth and representation. The concert lasts 30 minutes. Music: Alexander Peài; Piano: Mikhail Doubov Text by: Valerio Ferrari.

Trilogy Part 3, Etera Tondo, Opera House, Tirana, 2006 Albania

Etera Tondo – Part 3 of the trilogy – is an installation work around which the audience circulates freely. The work is based on the Paradise section of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The closing reflections on the theme of travel are set against the background of Dante’s Paradise, a place where the will to depart coincides with the desire to arrive. “And just like in glass, in amber or in crystal / yes, a shining ray, which from the future / to being all, is not distance.” This meeting of standpoints does not assume the journey will be canceled but serves as an overlap between motion and destination, between going and being, death and rebirth – the end of Dante’s journey. Beatrice is the epicenter, the focus of the entire installation. All of the text is spoken by Beatrice, and by her alone.Concept and Installation: Valerio Ferrari ; Music: Alexander Peçi ; Orchestra Director: Alqui Lepuri; Sopranos: Rovena Koreta and Teuta Koào; Violoncello: Dominique de Williencourt; Harp: Katia Catarci; Video Operators: Sven Beyer and Frieder Weiss; Wardrobe: Anne Brault.

Pelleas and Melisande, design’s studio, drawings

Stage design of the opera Pelléas and Mélisande by Debussy

The Invention of Morel, Casares, Gram Project, Lyon, France 2000

The invention deals with the encounter between two different time dimensions that are precluded from communicating with each other. The action occurs in the corners of the stage curtain which slowly reveals the story and the intrigue of a possible conspiracy cooked up by one single man. The adaption of the novel by Bioy Casares for the theater leaves room to add an extra dimension to the drama, thereby building a “una mise en abyme” between the theater and realty. The music is a pivotal element as it guarantees continuity of time. The Invention of Morel can be perceived as a lengthy sequence of photographs while the constant presence of the record player allows the fugitive to fool himself from the realty they portray.Music: Robert Pascalone.

Mai per Atzar, with EMBT, Barcelona, Spain 1997

Official Opening of the EMBT Architectural Practice.How can we explain the absurd if not through the absurd? How did they end up in this predicament, with Winnie wedged into the rock and Willie hidden beneath? Taking advantage of the natural downward slope in the courtyard of the EMBT offices at Passatge la Pau di Barcellona, we erected a stage in the hollow at the farthest end and transformed the place into a theater for a performance of Beckett’s “Oh les beaux jours”. Eric Miralles, Eva Prats, Benedetta Tagliabue and Riccardo Flores, designed the various steps in the plot on four light boards in real time. Text by Valerio Ferrari; Translation by Maurici Pla;Music/Piano: Roberto Cacciapaglia; Winnie: Uma Isamat; Willy: Andreu Carandelà ; Hermes: Julio Manriqué ; Stage sets designed in real time by Eric Miralles, Eva Prats, Benedetta Tagliabue and Riccardo Flores: Sets and Wardrobe: Studio EMBT.

XXth Century, opera, Teatro dell’Angelo, Rome, Italy 1995

The Twentieth Century” is a dream. A dream about a game, a memory game. Nighttime, five characters await dawn, and play. The first character says the name of an important person from the 20th century, the second character repeats its and adds another name, and so on. The names, coming in an ordered sequence, form imaginary circles to be walked around by each character in turn. Citing the names of famous people from an entire century in jumbled order and without any logical connection amounts to mixing up the century: close the gap between major time distances, separate and create time distances between events that historically happened contemporaneously. The result is the creation of space in time. The music represents the corridors of the mind. The names of the famous people called out are split and put back together again, in a new arrangement based on the rhythm with which they are spoken such that for instance from the sequence Amin Dada, Zapata, Fermi and Lorca, we obtain “patafermi-Lorca”. When the character who gets it wrong dies, the one who dreams – a 20-year old youth – wakes up. Cruelty, in this century, lies in the lightness. The constant repetition of the text as a means of atonement is a secular imitation of the ritual of hymns and prayers. Music by Christopher Culpo.

Les Oubliers, opera, Peniche Opera, Paris, France 1993

This work narrates the story of two Phoenician Gods enraptured in a love story who, as part of a vendetta, were turned one into a rock and the other into a tree at the foot of Mont Blanc, Europe’s tallest mountain. Agdistis (the tree) and Nana (the rock) have made it through the centuries to our times and, worn out by the countless attacks perpetrated on them by mineralogists and woodsmen, they complain that they have been forgotten by the Gods who, moreover, have long since abandoned the world to its own fate. Throughout all this time, the celestial heroes have been alone, their love story intact. The problem, however, is that they are set apart: there is no physical contact between tree and rock. Their plight, it seems, might only ever be resolved as a result of an earthquake, nature’s kind – if violent – way of reuniting them. Static for thousands of years and fossilized, they are now considered useless by ecologists who see no reason not to get rid of them. But at the very last minute, just as a woodsman is raising his ax to chop down the tree, Agdistis sprouts a flower. The lovers are ecstatic, but the woodsman is unmoved. Once he sees the flower, he attempts to uproot it but is too short to reach it. Intent on his purpose, he hauls the rock – Nana – over to the tree so he can climb up onto it and get at the flower. Nana’s joy for this renewed contact is offset by Agdistis’ fear of being deprived of his one treasure, the flower. Stage sets by Benedetta Tagliabue and Bruno Weber. Music by Valérie Stephan. Soprano: Catherine Dune; Baritone: Jean Michel Sereni ; Pianist: Valerie Stephane, Marimba Pascal Zavarro.

Jinjang Masterplan

Description in progress…


Description in progress…

Top Class Five Stars Hotel

Description in progress…

West Peng Social Club

In China, the social club is the most common arena in which developers sell new apartments. Social clubs have evolved into meeting places and sport gyms within newly constructed residence complexes. Our solution here was to follow the topographical reality we had to work with. We therefore gave priority to the magnificent landscape. This new building nestles around a small lake which is the principal attraction of this particular location.

JingLi Hotel Cheng Du

ooking out over the Chengdu river, a covered plaza on the ground floor houses the main entrance to the hotel, its bars, various service offerings and access to the First Floor restaurant. It serves as a protected outdoor area: an empty space, in striking contrast with the prominent volumes of the hotel rooms.

Da Chuan

Description in progress…

Project for a wine cellar in Chongqing

Chongqing is a hilly town. During the World Was II, tunnels were built beneath the city to hide supplies and arms. These tunnels still exist today, and the client wanted to transform part of them for use as a wine cellar. We proposed to build a raised pathway through the tunnels, using the different part of the labyrinth to suggest a trip through various wine-producing nations. The project also included two separate dining areas and dedicated storage space for customers who wish to keep their wine at perfect, natural temperature.

Bei Bin Lou Competition

Since the Beibin lou site faces onto one of Chongqing’s two rivers, the new buildings are likely to become city landmarks. Two towers of 100m and 200m in height situated just behind the city government offices. High density in a small space. We cut the buildings into “slices” and then put them back together again to avoid the “mass” effect. Our idea was that by adding one slice to another, we could offer good views, sunlight and fresh air to everybody. Piecing the various sections together conjured up the idea of a robot, whose shape is typically studied to be as close as possible to function. In Beibin lou, we followed the same principle, all the time bearing in mind that Chongqing is the world capital of robotics.

Stlylish Gem in the center of China: CICC OFFICE by VMCF Atelier

The office of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Chonqing is a small but significant example of achieved quality project in China. Located in the Yubei District, northern part Chongqing, major city in Southwest China the office spread over an area of about 60 m2 on the 23rd floor block4 of the ”Foreign and Commercial Affairs District’. The office has a rectangular plan and a single view with three windows overlooking on a secondary road east oriented. The space is transversely cut by a partition wall that divides the public space from the offices separating the two windows of the common area to the window of the manager’s office. The center partition is therefore a key element of the project in fact it has been treated with soft decoration effects enriched by chromatic accents; gold silver and gray reflexes enhance the features of the ‘’Encanto’’ a special, water based, decorative paint whose metallic colored evidences. The intervention of Oikos with its unique colors has allowed to obtain a sophisticated glaze on the surface, creating a fantastic light effects that modify the environment during different times of the day. This simple and effective solution has been proposed again on the partition walls between the offices although with a lighter shade of gray in order to get internal spaces as clear and bright as possible. At the center of the main wall there is a large opening from which emerges a piece of furniture red lacquered horseshoe shaped. The customized desk extends into the secretary working space to end in proximity of the behind Archives. It has been obtained from the space results between the meeting room and the president’s office that faces the outside. The as well adopted horseshoe solution to use three shelves joined together allowed to have a unique frontal sliding door characterized in its design from a wooden oblique frame long the entire length of the glass of the two shutters. On the right-hand wall, side of the entrance, the sign of the Italian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is enlightened by spotlights neon just as the lateral reproduction of part of the famous XIV century fresco of the ‘The Allegory of Good Government’ by Antonio Lorenzetti. Stainless steel holders supporting it giving a sense of lightness and brightness. This modern reinterpretation of the wall painting, on purpose placed in the foreground recalls the sense of good institutions and the rise of trade. The meeting room table and the office one have an extremely simple varnished iron structure and an horizontal surface of laminated wood. Both spaces are equipped with a built-in closet characterized by a unique hinged door with the diagonal wooden element as the previous ones. The fire protection system pipes in view match perfectly with the elegance of the thin and light hanging lamps, a true piece of furniture that is a constituent part of the simple and refined environment.

Cool Opera, Antigone and Re-birth, Stavanger, Norway

Antigone is a stage design for the minimalist music by Trond Reinholden and Manos Tsagaris. Re-birth is an installation on the building of Cool Opera. A truck pass has been closed and trasformed. In this new inside, where public was obliged to go through, there was a performance of the percussionist Ivar Grydeland and an interactive projection by Frieder Weiss.

Trilogy Part 1, Oirat, opera, Academy Theatre, Tirana 2000

PREMIO MUSA 2004. Part 1 of a trilogy, “Oirat” explores three themes that run through the travel experience by using three different forms of representation. Part 1 comes in the form of a contemporary opera, and deals with migration as one form of travel experience, a quest fueled by hope, where projections of the traveler’s desired obscure and blot out everything else. OIRAT is the story of a RUBBER DINGHY, an object that seems to breathe in and out, just like humans, and which takes on different forms depending on the hopes of its passengers. The rubber craft encapsulates all of the forms of metamorphosis, not only those of human beings and nature in general, but also those of inanimate objects in a state of flux and capable of recounting a metaphor of life. The opera lasts 45 minutes and features a troupe of 18 musicians and 5 vocalists. Music: Alexander Peçi; Conducted by: Zhani Ciko; Wardrobw: Anne Brault ; Actors: Rovena Kureta, Etleva Golemi, Ferdinando Cordeiro Opa, Alexei Ivanov, Alma Strazimiri, Avni Shehu, Agim Duro, Shqipe Mingomataj; Amra Contemporary Music Orchestra.Text by: Valerio Ferrari; Translation by Maurici Pla.

A tree house, Ramatuelle, France

The owner of a large tract of land in Ramatuelle (France) needed a safe place where he could both work and sleep over. Our proposal was to construct a small wooden house (12m2) set above 4 cluster pines. The house opens onto – and closes from – the nature outside thanks to a ‘furnished wall’ complete with a bucket chaise longue and a foldable work table. The house is accessed via a drawbridge.

Jing Li Chongqing

Our brief was to unify a range of separate functions within one single building: a Five Star hotel, a major bank, a selection of shops and various business offices. Our solution was to design two towers, one considerably taller than the other, connected by a flying bridge. The bridge finishes off the commercial bank building like a massive picture frame, to become the lobby area of the luxury hotel in the second tower that continues upwards to a height of 180m.On the first four floors, a red serpentine houses the restaurants and the 1,500sqm banquet hall.


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