Totipotent Architecture - Atoll

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Date: 2007
Ref: 1200.50
Matériaux: Canopy: Inox steel Platform: concrete, aluminium moulds, natural stone, LED lighting
Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 19 m
Exhibition history: Public sculpture, Corso Tazzoli Park, Mirafiori Nord, Turin, Italy
Courtesy: The Artists and Fondazione Olivetti; Urban 2 Turino; a.titolo, Italy

In front of the Fiat Mirafiori plant, in the city of Turin, is a new public park, a large, walk-in sculpture was created in the form of an organic architecture. Entitled 'Totipotent Architecture', it was conceived by Lucy Orta in response to the desire expressed by a group of commissioners made up of students from two neighboring highschools for what they called an “atoll,” a sort of free port. A place to meet, relax, read and chat. The commissioning of this work was initiated in 2003 with a discussion among the commissioners and mediators a.titolo on themes for public spaces dedicated to the needs of young people.
The result is a organic habitable sculpture with a smooth cement base on three levels and open canape of hand rolled steel tubing. The sinuous and curvilinear shape of the base resembles the organic form of a cell, recalled in the work’s title with its direct reference to the totipotent cell, the stem cell, the unit of unlimited potential that presides over the construction of an entire organism.Following from this potentiality are the imprints of parts of the commissioners’ bodies, casts made of aluminum and impressed on the sculpture’s three cement platforms. Hands, shoes, backs and buttocks form a series of intertwining figures encrusted into the cement surface, inviting those who enter the sculpture to arrange themselves in positions that encourage interrelation and connectivity, so common in the work of Lucy Orta. 'Totipotent Architecture' is thus offered as a structure that changes according to how it is used, and a space for social interaction.