Reading Room Installation
by Itinerant Office

The Reading Room installation, designed by Itinerant Office, opened to the public on June 30th and is to last until September 3rd, 2021 at the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome, as part of the three-year edition of the New Generations Festival called “New Urban Challenges”.

It was designed as an itinerant device that aims to provide a new space to feature and exhibit new and innovative research in various editorial formats by emerging architecture practices in Europe.

Through the open calls launched by New Generations in the context of the three-year edition of the festival, a selection of editorial projects in the form of books, magazines, zines, small publications, and other formats have been showcased in the installation, a mobile device divided into six pieces, each piece referring to one theme of the six themes under “New Urban Challenges”.

The installation now exhibits publications selected under the first four themes of the New Urban Challenges: (City and) People, (City and) Responsibility, (City and) Technology and (City and) Image. The remaining two themes of the total six themes under the New Urban Challenges will be revealed in the third and final installment of the three-year festival.

Devised with the objective of compiling and mapping the vast production of architectural research by emerging architecture firms in the European territory that generally goes unnoticed or unpublished by mainstream architecture media, the installation now exhibits publications in multiple formats under various themes relating to the contemporary city.

The structures have been designed with industrially-prefabricated materials, deliberately personalised and built out of a standardised scaffolding unit, assembled with galvanised steel. Each piece includes three different modes of display: A chest of drawers with books and magazines; racks with magazines and journals; and sheet steel surfaces displaying fanzines and other short-term publications.

In the form of a ladder and a rack of shelves, the (City and) People piece is designed to display publications that focus on the citizens that comprise the contemporary city, exploring the current narratives around collective projects, new forms of participation and innovative methods of cohabiting with projects such as Madrid interior by Asier Rua and Rebel Bodies Rebel Cities by Víctor Cano Ciborro & Mansi Shah.

Using a horizontally-placed scaffolding unit, the (City and) Responsibility piece creates planar surfaces in different textures, each exhibiting publications that explore how we contribute to our living environments, exploring new ways of making our cities more inclusive and livable. Some of the projects included are Fantasmapedia by Jérémie Dussault-Lefebvre & Sébastien Roy from Abeirst as well as magazines such as ARQ Magazine and periodic zines like Pnyx and Chez Etym.

The (City and) Technology topic is designed as a piece built from a telescopic construction ladder and further personalised using modular steel drawers. Bake-painted in pale yellow, the piece stands out but is free to adapt to various spatial configurations. Projects dealing with the influence of data and technology in architecture such as Geoscape: City as New Nature by Alper Derinbogaz from Salon Architects and Configurational Morphology by Jaka Korla have been included.

Supported by a movable trolley, the (City and) Image piece also uses a prefabricated design built from galvanised steel. With a number of custom roll-out trays the piece holds magazines, books and other publications in different layouts including projects such as Plan Libre by Sébastien Martinez Barat from MBL architectes and Joanne Pouzenc as well as X RW FW by Philippe Nathan from the studio, 2001.

One of the primary objectives of the Reading Room is to build and connect emerging architects engaged in active research on important topics with various cultural institutions across Europe and beyond. The installation will remain at the Royal Academy until September 3rd, and then be moved onto the next location that will be revealed in the coming months.

Author Itinerant Office
Gianpiero Venturini, Pablo Ibáñez, Akshid Rajendran,
Antonio Borlado, Sara López Camus
Location Rome, Italy
Year 2021
In partnership with
 Royal Academy of Spain in Rome
With the support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) through PICE
(Programa para la Internacionalización de la Cultura Española) under the “Movilidad” modality
The project, promoted by Roma Culture, has been awarded the public tender
"Estate Romana 2020 – 2021 – 2022" promoted by the Department of Culture of Rome.
Construction Metálicas Aule S L, Madrid 

Photography Davide Curatola Soprana

Le sauna de Veillac Three Pavilions, Place du Marché Aigle Encounter Iced Sound Pop-up café Pavilion for Doing Nothing

a project powered by Itinerant Office

subscribe to our newsletter

follow us