2A+P/A builds a 'cabinet of curiosities' based on an ettore sottsass illustration

2A+P/A builds a 'cabinet of curiosities' based on an ettore sottsass illustration

2A+P/A‘s ‘cabinet of curiosities architettura monumentale’ is an axonometric projection that brings to life one of italian master ettore sottsass’ many drawings. showing two sides of a volume standing on a tiled pavement with a grey sky in the background, the building is dark, rough and introverted, lacking an explicit function except for being a piece of monumental architecture. the structure takes inspiration from just one of the incredible drawings that ettore sottsass produced during his lifetime.

2A+P/A, a house from a drawing of ettore sottsass, cabinet of curiosities



in the mysterious, yet highly expressive appearance of ‘architettura monumentale’, 2A+P/A recognized a potential waiting to be developed — the chance to open a dialogue with ettore sottsass. the challenge of the project was to imagine life within an illustrated form. starting from the partially-defined outer volume, the studio unveiled the invisible façades and entered into the unexplored interior to finally conquer the building as a whole. the key was to introduce an abstract yellow structure of columns and beams in the black shell. the new element has a rigid geometry, yet reacts to the curve of the ceiling, creating a free but interdependent relationship with the vault. thus the three-dimensional grid is an autonomous element that inhabits the light-coloured interior while preserving the monumental character of the high vaulted space.

side view



looking for a purpose of a design otherwise confined to paper, the architects turned sottsass’s drawing into a house. for the first biennale in orléans, the project has been built in a reduced version, turning the house into a cabinet of curiosity. ‘architettura monumentale’ became a pavilion, a new exhibition space for the city of orléans that — after a temporary installation in front of the mediathéque d’orléans — will be moved and permanently installed in parc floral de la source.

the pavilion was built for the first biennale in orléans



2A+P/A curated the first exhibition with 36 drawings hosted inside the pavilion. the series of drawings is a visual essay that exposes our idea of architecture in its intimate form. artworks, images, objects, built or unbuilt architecture, and archetypes are indifferently assumed as projects and juxtaposed to create a storyboard of unexpected encounters and unpredictable meanings. each element of the collection is detached by its own material, spatial and temporal context by being redrawn and therefore re-appropriated to construct a cabinet of obsessions.

the series of drawings is a visual essay that exposes our idea of architecture



the drawings represent a body of ideas and meanings without a specific hierarchy or order, using a lens that flattens history in a present moment. as such, the contemplation of the past is not just the memory of surpassed and obsolete objects, but rather the construction of an archive of pieces and parts that we can continuously reassemble to produce meaning. ultimately architecture is not just the production of space but first and foremost a form of knowledge.

the interior



ettore sottsass’s ‘architettura monumentale’


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,388 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample