Our contribution to the Piscina Mirabilis competition of Re-Use Italy codifies internationally accepted standards of conservation practice relating to architecture and sites. All additional elements are strongly separated in form, appearance, materiality, and colour to universally recognize and acknowledge the identity and authenticity of the unique site of Piscina Mirabilis and its territorial scale. The importance of maintaining the historical and physical context of the site and the Roman reservoir is conducted in the soft introduction of the existing and surrounding landscape and the reusage of the site as a museum to create a living cultural site for the residents of Bacoli, Naples and aficinados of ancient history and contemporary art.
This monument is to be conserved not only as a historical evidence but also as a work of art. All elements from its erection to the present time should be made and kept visible. The exhibition design is separated from its robust grid of regular pillars and finds its beauty as an equally qualitative design from a different
period. Therefore, it is evident to recreate a basin for water as architectural element and a legacy for the cistern space. The possibility of an ever-changing and marginally lifted contemporary structure creates an accurate but flexible exhibition path and thus gives space for introducing multidisciplinary work of contemporary art within the given volumes of Piscina Mirabilis. Although the competition askes for a Contemporary Art Museum, the Roman reservoir is not turned into a modernist white cube – instead, its authentic character is emphasised, and the exhibition design provides a flexible but clean canvas for the art to interact with the unique interior of the cistern.
A dialectic between the building, the space and the work of art is intended. This makes the potential of the objects and the space visible and tangible. Different spaces are of a neutrality that creates the offer to discover the work of art. The adjustable is the work of art and the human being within Piscina Mirabilis. Different parts of the building allow a focus on individual spatial aspects and their formulation creates an overall experience for the diversity of visitors.