PISCINA MIRABILE

Conceptual project of a museum of modern art in an ancient Roman cistern


From treasure to treasures.

"Piscina Mirabile" ("Amazing pool") is the largest preserved ancient Roman cistern in Italy. For many centuries, the treasure that was stored here was water-the source of life. The very architecture of the object resembles an underground Treasury, where mountains of gold are scattered between the pillars, referring us to literature and cartoons.

The epochs changed, the water disappeared, and the structure remained empty. To fill the tank with new life, it is necessary to use modern means. However, it is important to remember the primary function of the ruin.



The bright image of the Treasury is supported by a flexible relief made of polymer balls. It creates variability in the organization of space. The balls themselves are a reference to the original function of the ruin, and their light transmission allows you to implement many lighting scenarios using floor LED lighting. You can fill the dungeon with rivers of red-hot lava or sea waves beating on a rocky, walk in the starry sky or find yourself in the snow of Antarctica. The project presents several examples of different organization of the terrain of balls and routes for visitors to the exhibition. Over time, the space will evolve and give birth to new variants of internal organization.


The typology of exhibition stands assumes:

Circle - large sculptures or installations that stand and take up the entire span

Rhombus - medium-sized sculptures or installations that can be surveyed within a single span

Square - stand for the four wall-mounted items

Ruler - stand for two wall objects


In order for the space of the ruin to function fully, being already filled with new life, it is necessary to "connect" it to the modern city. The role of the "adapter" for this "connection" takes on a neutral volume located above the entrance outside the ruins. It combines white blank walls and stained glass Windows. It is so easy to define the boundaries of the historical and modern.

All communications and functions of the cloakroom, cafe, office, conference room, bookstore and utility rooms are concentrated in this extension. Its dimensions are defined so that it can accommodate everything you need, but leave most of the surface of the tank intact, preserving the historical context. The lobby, cafe and conference room have access to a terrace with beautiful views of the Bay.

A pool-bar is located on the roof of the extension, creating a refreshing area for informal communication and recreation. After the ceremonies inside the ruins, you can climb up and watch the sunset from the outdoor pool, which emphasizes the primary function of the object, as a water storage.

The first virtual exhibition at the new Museum of modern art in Italy features interactive LED light installations from the project "polylight" by the international Studio "Izobrulo", which works at the intersection of art, design and technology. The multicolored glow of their sculptures supports the theme of light scenarios for the balls that filled the space of the ruins.
Made on
Tilda