The Cineteca is a structure with the “introverted” characteristics interior spaces that immediately catch the eye in a film vault, usually inward-looking, without windows or openings facing outside, and isolated. The materials used are standard and straightforward, the distribution of space and the arrangement of passages are eminently rational, and the wasting of energy is avoided. Form and content are inextricably linked. The hall becomes a reception room, and offers a view of the area’s natural beauty. The basin set in the centre is not functional, but establishes an immediate link with the surrounding environment, calling to mind the River Tagliamento, which flows nearby and from whose bed the foundation stones were taken. This reference to the outside, including the use of an open roof, is a way of turning the building towards the outside, rejecting a tendency towards introversion, making it visible, something other than a large fridge. A sarcophagus is the model for ideas for the vault. Preserving means not only protecting, but expressing and revealing, too. Thus the other model becomes a “box within a box”, like the famous Yale University Beinecke Rare Book Library, designed by Gordon Bunshaft in 1963. Opening towards the outside, displaying what is being preserved and safeguarded, can be done while still covering and protecting. The temperatures required for the preservation of film rule out glass panels enabling the interior of the cold-store cabinets to be seen, but perhaps this is not the real issue. “Visible” suggests a General view of the interior space recognized, visited exhibition area, maintaining contact with reality and of the new facilities. Not just with the past, with something so jealously shielded that it runs the risk of becoming a historical relic. The cinema is far more than this. A vault can for example house those contemporary artworks which more and more often pay tribute to or are inspired by the cinema, borrowing its techniques and genres. A vault should not merely be a container, hidden away, but rather a facility that offers an opportunity for making people aware of the physical nature of film, the mechanics involved in its use, the aesthetic quality of its material form. This is what the new vault aims to do in a way, for here form and substance are one and the same.
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