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Il Dolomiti – Rebirth of Arte Sella, the architect Ian Ritchie donates a work August 30, 2019

Il Dolomiti
30 August 2019

Rebirth of Arte Sella, the architect Ian Ritchie donates a work: “Man can strive to recompose nature and react”

The English designer had visited Arte Sella before the storm Vaia and wanted to return even after the tragic events that destroyed part of the artistic space. From this grew the idea of ​​creating a work dedicated to lightness and rebirth, a symbol of resilience to celebrate both Art and Nature.

BORGO VALSUGANA. The images of the devastation wrought by the storm Vaia have travelled around the world. Particularly heart-rending are those coming directly from Arte Sella, the open air park of contemporary art in nature, located in Val Sella, which was also hit by the fury of the storm and which destroyed several works of art.

It is a wound that, thanks to the hard work of the park managers and the many donations collected to participate in the reconstruction, is healing.

In these last few days there is more good news, featuring an internationally renowned architect: it is the English designer Ian Ritchie, who has decided to donate a work to contribute to the rebirth of the artistic space of Villa Strobele.

Always interested in the relationship between technological innovation and living spaces, Ritchie founded the engineering design company ‘RFR’ with Peter Rice and Martin Francis. During this period, the hanging structural glass curtain was developed by them which used bolt connections at single points rather than frames; architectural experimentation was primarily concerned with steel, glass and innovative materials.

Then followed a period of using low maintenance materials (corten steel, titanium zinc, etc.) and the creation of true sculpture-buildings which became iconic, including Terrasson in France, the Crystal Palace Concert Platform or the Royal Shakespeare Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

His love for wood on the other hand, a living, biological material compared to the high-tech and mineral materials used before, is very recent and has led to the creation of the Royal Academy of Music’s Concert Opera and Musical Theatre Hall in London, and hence the encounter with Arte Sella and its magic of nature and philosophy.

In fact, Ritchie visited Arte Sella before the storm Vaia and wanted to return to Villa Strobele even after the natural disaster that struck it, changing the area’s geography.

The English architect’s passion for wood is materialised in the work “Levitas – the third mountain”, as was imagined with Emanuele Montibeller, the artistic director of Arte Sella.

The creation is a true prototype of a kind never seen before, whose complexity is evident in its geometric and constructive terms. Its sense of lightness, however, is linked to its strength and geometry, which indicate how man can strive to recompose nature and react, pick himself up again and celebrate nature and its materials even after a natural disaster such as that which swept through the splendid woods of the valley.

The work, donated by Ritchie to Arte Sella, embodies a sort of geometric thrust towards the sky that frees itself from the earth, like a wave, a breath of wind, a new mountain.

More than seven meters high, it is a “double saddle” structure defined by two three-hinged arches on which a complex ruled surface is set consisting of strips of Italian red oak. The definition of the geometry, the prototyping and the calculations were also made possible thanks to the collaboration with the Polytechnic of Milan.

In short “Levitas – The third mountain” aspires to be a symbol of resilience, a kind of “great network” that sees us all as participants, united to celebrate both Art and Nature.

Coming after this spring’s presentation of Eduardo Souto de Moura’s sculpture, the Arte Sella Architettura 2019 project is therefore enriched by another important milestone.

On Saturday, August 31, in fact, the astute English architect will be at Villa Strobele for the inauguration of the new sculpture, scheduled for 11:00. In addition, at 15:00 Ritchie will hold a lectio magistralis in Malga Costa. The organizers have let us know that there are still places available, for information and reservations (mandatory) phone 0461 751251 where an Arte Sella employee will answer.

Read the Italian article here.