le terme
Piazza Oberdan
Milan, Italy

Le terme is developed from Diurno Venezia, a forgotten 19th century public bath house situated directly beneath Piazza Oberdan in Milan. Over a period of fifteen days builders from R. Bau, aided by student apprentices from the local construction college, simultaneously constructed and de-constructed a part of the 80m long and 5m high architectural structure of the bath house directly above it’s site in the Piazza.

Through this performative gesture, the historical architecture that lies forgotten underneath the city is revealed. The construction of the monumental becomes an event, a visible and special experience of a process in flux rather than a presentation of a finished architectural structure. The Piazza’s surface becomes the mirror of memory: Diurno Venezia is upturned like an image in the water.

The architectural performance of le terme was recorded using cameras positioned strategically around the sculpture to capture the continuous construction and deconstruction process. The photographic plates were exposed for the duration of the project. The resulting time-lapse images were exhibited as large-scale prints forming the only complete document of the temporary reconstruction of the Diurno.

Video documentation of le Terme:

Photographs le terme bw
Photographs le terme colour