International success for Year Two students, against professional competition.

Marco Zaccaria and Veronika Desova of Year Two were presented in the final 7 entries selected by an international architectural news and competition organisation. The brief was open worldwide to practicing architects under the age of 40 as well as students, attracting 100s of entries.

'Rome – Architecture and Cinema' competition was organised by the Italian architectural/culture promoter START

Our students' entry is featured in the Gallery.

The brief was to design a very modern Museum of Cinema located next to the Colosseum in Rome (the historical ‘open-air museum’) to honour the many masterpieces of cinema set in the city by renowned directors over the years. The final 7 designs are featured on the START website. The museum had to be a bridge between the eras filmed, allowing the visitor to experience the story of Rome through a cinematic experience.

Veronika and Marco reported,

We chose to create our museum of cinema largely through the use of film and film alone; allowing them to speak for themselves and the visitors to form their own opinions.

In the entrance podium the visitors walk through a series of identical spaces arranged on an axis. Scenes from important films are presented on the walls on either side, overlapped by texts. The images are projected onto semi-transparent fabric partitions that gradually isolate the internal museum spaces from the chaos of the city. The museum will also contain offices, stores, information areas, a lecture room and a terrace.

After leaving the introductory area, the visitor enters a vast, almost surreal cloud like space, which has ramps to several floor levels, viewing platforms and stairs. It is divided throughout by three-dimensional partitioning (in 50cm square modules), which divide the open area into a complex system of voids to explore. This area is protected from the elements by a thin cloud like skin of semi-transparent plaster panels.

Some of the partitioning supports lightweight screens of different sizes showing films. The modular grid allows for the creation of a wide variety of overlapping spaces, the more enclosed spaces could present longer sequences from the one film, director or theme. In open spaces the focus would be on confrontation, comparison, evolution and reference. The screens could face each other or overlap, so relationships between films’ scenes are suggested, but nothing is confirmed.

The students’ design concept was praised by the judges and their Studio Design Tutor, David MacRitchie, remarked:

This is an amazing achievement for students in year two. They have gained recognition in an international competition against practising architects from around the world whilst continuing their full time academic study.

The Department is very proud of the initiative shown by Veronika and Marco.