An immergent environmental installation

"The swimmer" (goes too often to Heidelberg) is an installation devised by Studio Azzurro for the Venezia Art Biennale of 1984.  Flavio Albanese devised the setting for the spaces and the structures, designing a water tank covered in mosaic tiles, occupying the large hall on the ground floor of the 15th century Palazzo Fortuny in Venezia: an invasive and disorienting project.

Venice Biennale
setting Flavio Albanese

Flavio Albanese
founder & partner

Flavio Albanese (1951), is founder and president of ASA studio albanese. He is a self-educated designer, by combining his passion for contemporary art with the practical experience of an artisan-architect. Having come into contact with Carlo Scarpa, he learns from him to avoid an “a priori” approach to design, adapting on a case-by-case basis to the occasions, themes and contexts. He has held courses at the École Polytechinique Fédérale in Lausanne and at the Art Institute in Chicago (1980), at Yale University (1983), at the University of Architecture in Delft (2005), at the University of Florida (2006), at the Fundacion Proa de Buenos Aires (2008) and frequently at the most important Italian universities. He has also held two workshops at the international summer school of the Architecture School in Venice in 2009 and 2010. He was a member of the Confindustria Vicenza committee from 1998 to 2001, the Domus Academy Scientific Committee (2004-2005) and the MIart Committee of Honour (2009 and 2010), director of the Officina del Porto di Palermo (2006-2008), vice president of the Andrea Palladio Architecture Firms International Centre (2011-2015) and president of the Fondazione Teatro Comunale Città di Vicenza (2010-2016). From 2007 to 2010 he was asked to head Domus, the prestigious international architecture, design and contemporary art magazine. Active since 1971, in 1987 he founds with his brother Franco ASA studio albanese. The studio's projects were published by the most most important architecture and design magazines: the Neores project was selected for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture (2003), and ASA studio albanese took part in Venice's Architecture Biennial in 2004 and 2006. Flavio is an avid reader and bibliophile (his library, which is open to the rest of the firm, contains more than 15.000 volumes) and he is a connoisseur and collector of contemporary art.

Studio Azzurro

“Apparently everything seems calm: a blue atmosphere and music all around welcome spectators. Across the monitors, positioned side by side, appear the repeated, tired strokes of a swimmer, who moves endlessly from one screen to another. The installation (synchronised with twenty-four monitors and thirteen video programmes) was created using twelve video cameras attached to the edge of a swimming pool at the water’s surface. It shows a swimmer who, with repeated, tired strokes, “crosses” the individual televisions placed side by side; a hundred micro-events (a falling ball, a sinking anchor…) are added to the main scene, and captured on the individual screens. It is precisely these alternating events that mark the spectators’ initial direct participation in the installation that will characterise the work of Studio Azzurro. The spectators are not witnessing a narration: they themselves become participants in the event that is taking place at that moment and that will never be the same” (Studio Azzurro)

Schizzi del progetto

Il Nuotatore. Filosofia del progetto e articolo sul Gazzettino