1991 - 2008
The Cathedral Ark (2/13)

Milan 2007 - 2015



It’s well known that Italy is a country which fluctuates from disorder to paralysis. Which is the lesser harm? If we look at history, disorder has often been a factor of renewal and creativity, through which the life of our cities produced masterpieces. The Milan Piazza del Duomo isn’t indeed a masterpiece, because it was not born from the real life of the city but on the contrary from a plan imposed by the Administration, moreover in an epoch of scarce artistic creativity. Nevertheless such a plan was also an undertaking of great courage, that could encourage us to an emulation effort, instead of paralysing ourselves in the conservation of a rigid and obsolete form. Beside disorder, Italy faces now an administrative, political, cultural plaster cast. This doesn’t spare the architectural culture as it prohibits us even to think about new ideas.
Therefore, I must break a lance in a more open and courageous culture defence. Surely this would not justify the construction of any contemporary building in an ancient environment of great value, unless one would compromise its beauty and identity. But the Piazza del Duomo doesn’t have such a value, as it is one of the ugliest in Italy. We should even be grateful to its plaster cast because, taking it off, we might reveal a new form. ... a form that, at the same time, will be ancient, as we will start our undertaking by recuperating and honouring the more sacred memories of the city: The Basilica and the Baptistery of the Bishop Ambrose’s times, and even the layout of some
ancient streets.
We will bring back the square dimensions to the original proportion (as the Mengoni’s project already intended to do), articulating also the large and useless space into more qualified parts, useful to people life.
We will finally realize a great votive work: THE CATHEDRAL ARK, which can be regarded as the daughter of the Cathedral, in its proportions and in its sacred intent, as well as the daughter of the contemporary life, in order to allow Milan’s industry, design and fashion, to find a modern and outstanding expression.
Such a project comes from profound values, as the fruit of a long dedication to Milan. It has not been conceived while thinking to the 2015 Expo, but it intends to catch the appointment with it for realizing itself even as a temporary construction. (... as the Tour Eiffel, hoping of course that it will also stand for ever)
The ARK is a reversed glass and steel pyramid, supported by four large pillars, which is integrated with a vessel, a form always present in Vittorio Mazzucconi’s works.
At night, it will shine in the very centre of the city as a splendid lamp, reflected, as well as the Cathedral, in the water pool, by means of which we intend to suggest the memory of the ancient Basilica.
It’s a gesture of opening for our mind, our heart and the future which will be born from it. This is very much as if were going to build in front of the Cathedral a new Baptistery for today’s man.