David Kohn Architects
39–51 Highgate Road
London NW5 1RT
+44 (0)20 7424 8596 tel
David Kohn Architects has collaborated with Change Performing Arts on the design of the opening event for the 2010 Milan Furniture Fair. Each year Cosmit, the Fair's organising body, commissions a cultural event to support the fair which this year focused on the kitchen. Entitled 'Tutti a Tavola!' the exhibition approached the subject through the idea of conviviality, the rituals and pleasures of gathering around a table to eat in company.
The setting for the exhibition is the Villa Reale, an imposing C19th mansion commissioned by the Belgiojoso family and later occupied by Napoleon. Today the Villa houses the City of Milan's collection of C19th art which was a key aspect of the design brief: the permanent collection was to be accessible at all times during the temporary exhibition and no substantial alterations to the galleries' integrity was permitted.
The curatorial approach was therefore to select key pieces within the Museum's collection relevant to the theme of conviviality and compliment them with contemporary art works and installations. Our design approach was correspondingly to reinforce the domestic character of the Villa's rooms by presenting the new installations in the manner of furnishings. A system of signs, screens, tables, plinths, and small interiors were created using an off-the-shelf small-scale scaffolding system produced in Milan by Fratelli Marinelli. David Kohn Architects also collaborated with Milanese fashion designer Colomba Leddi on the design of printed silk installations and carpets and with graphic designer James Goggin on the signage system.
Client: Change Performing Arts
Funded by: Cosmit, the organising body of the Salone del Mobile
Address: Villa Reale, Milan
Completion date: April 2010
Project Team: David Kohn, Anja Riedl, Anna Crosby
Consultants: Practise, Colomba Leddi
Contractors: Change Performing Arts
Photography: Tilde de Tullio, Laura Ferrari
The exhibition was the result of collaboration between a wide range of artists, chefs, architects, curators and fashion designers, including: Adriana Asti, Sandrina Bandera, Vanessa Beecroft, Mario Bellini, Paolo Biscottini, Achille Bonito Oliva, Sam Bompas, Antonio Calbi, Eva Cantarella, Felice Cappa, Gianni Carluccio, Francesco Casetti, Maria Cassi, Pierluigi Cerri, Julia Chiner, Mario de Biasi, Eugenio de Giorgi, Dario Fo, Peter Greenaway, Fergus Henderson, Andrea Kerbaker, David Kohn, Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, Colomba Leddi, Eugenio Monti Colla, Melina Mulas, Roberto Mutti, Paola Nizzoli Desiderato, Ermanno Olmi, Margherita Palli, Harry Parr, Fabio Picchi, Italo Rota, Stefano Scarani, Silvia Verderio, Marije Vogelzang, AJ Weissbard, Robert Wilson.