Packington Square, N1

Edited by: Riccardo Del Fabbro
Where : London, Packington Square N1
What: Demolition and Architecture

Somewhere in Islington, London, wrecking balls knocked down a building. You can hear and imagine some whispers in this neighborhood.

According to Gordon Matta-Clark idea of Anarchitecture, it is possible to find the meaning of anti/against in this demolition as well as in the last ruins that everybody CAN see.

Colours, dusty furniture, broken bricks, bust concrete are elements that mean something more than just a demolition.

They mean life, living, social cultures that have intertwined and have created many stories, and that somebody now wants to replace or do everything to forget.
In Gordon Matta-Clark’s works, architectural gestures have the potential to represent statements against certain social conditions.
While architecture itself felt that it could make a contribution to society through its structure, Matta-Clark felt that he himself could not alter the environment or make any significant changes. His idea of Anarchitecture called for an anarchistic approach to architecture, marked physically by a process of destructuring, rather than by creating structure. It was thus his choice to focus on existing structures in neglected areas, to use the city’s abandoned buildings within which his work was reflected and executed.
These buildings were empty, and for Matta-Clark, they were free for him to use. The neglect of these physical structures helped Matta-Clark develop a philosophical approach that sought to reveal societal problems through art.

So can we think about wrecking balls as an architectural gesture?
Can we think about demolitions as an auto-action that can build the idea of a destruction or tabula rasa, and at the same time, think about them as the defeat of an architectural thought and everyday stories?
In the next days, those interested will be able to see the last sections of the building which unveil its hidden structure, which has an architectural meaning and now has also a temporary destructive meaning for this neighborhood.

I would like to propose an exercise: try to provide, think, believe, imagine, draw new ways of perceiving spaces for this area, and try to create different metaphors between your perception, the perception of people that lived there, and the perception of the wrecking ball, “the artist”.


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About the Author

My career started studying classic literature and humanities, after that, I chose to attend the college of Architecture in the University of Trieste, Italy, my hometown and the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura in the Politecnico of Valencia, Spain.
When I came back to Italy, I collaborated as tutor in the IUAV (University IUAV of Venezia) and in the University of Trieste.
In 2011, I started working as architect in London, meanwhile I joined the Posi+tive Magazine's architectural department as editor.
In 2012 I began a new activity, as co-founder of zero40lab, an architecture laboratory in Italy.

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