8 ½ – YAP MAXXI 2014, ROMA


8 ½ is a mobile theatre, a machine to experience public space. It investigates the dual nature of public space, as the place of intimacy and elective relationships and in the meantime the preferential territory of event and spectacle. The installation intends to be a reflection about the transition that changes public space from being the background of private encounters and individual moments to being the scene of public events and collective representations.
8 ½ consists of two complementary elements:
1. The wall: 8 and ½ meters high, is built with modular timber frames. It transforms the surrounding space laying down a principal direction and creates a threshold effect dividing the “front” from the “back”. An opening in the structure can be used as access point to the interior space and as stage alternatively facing one side or the other. During the plays, the wall
works as scaenae frons, backdrop or technical infrastructure for machines and equipment. A path climbing to an upper level can be used during the shows as a part of the stage or, in the everyday life, as a new point of view over the area.
2. The arena: it consists in four “relational objects” and a canopy that goes from the wall to a linear system composed by six blocks. The arena is both a theatre, a place addressed to public events and plays, and a square, an architectural device for the daily use of the common space. An accurate shadow study of the canopy allows both shaded and sunny areas
during summertime.
The wall and the arena work together creating an intimate relational space, an “urban room” where you can enjoy the space together, play, chill or simply stay.
8 ½ is an installation specifically designed for piazza Boetti, but it can be easily dismantled, re-assembled and rearranged in new configurations, cleverly adapting to the new site. The structure doesn’t heavily affect the sites, reducing the cost of the first and the further re-installations. Construction techniques are simple and modular, materials are cheap and can be sourced by recycled and upcycled waste.


Orizzontale is an architecture collective based in Roma whose primary interest are reactivation processes involving urban scrap. Intercepting places, ideas and things rejected from metropolitan (re)productive cycle, Orizzontale activates collaborative “public acts” in the form of semi-permanent architecture or installations, in which material and immaterial wastes mutually restore each other’s meaning.


Orizzontale since 2010 has been promoting do-it-yourself projects of common relational spaces, giving form to both dismissed and unseen images of the city. These projects have represented the ground for experimenting new kinds of interactions between city dwellers and urban commons as well as occasions to test the boundaries of architectural creation process.