Review: House of Peroni

Monday 05 Aug 2013

Peroni Nastro Azzurro showcases Italian visionaries across the creative arts

Last week, WAN visited The House of Peroni, an ambitious project that showcased the work and ideas of some of the biggest established names in design, as well as exciting new talent from across Italy’s creative arts. The House of Peroni occupied a Grade II Listed terrace at 41 Portland Place in central London (practically opposite the RIBA HQ) for the month of July. The building is the former home of Thomas Gage 1721-1787, Commander of British Forces in North America.

The house was pleasantly quiet, allowing us to peruse the spaces at a relaxing pace. The first and most striking room was by Ludovice Giosca, whose installation resembles decades-worth of wallpaper peeling away, a metaphor for the need to strip away various societal layers to reveal something meaningful about culture. She says: “My work concentrates on decoding marketing strategies, and through parody I expose our compulsive and grotesque relationship with consumption.”

This room hosted an interactive DJ booth created for resident DJ Alessio Natalizia called NEON House, by NEON. It investigates the connection between music and architecture and explores the idea that a performance venue can be part of the performance itself. The design consists of a simple steel cube frame from which radiates 2km of glowing UV fluorescent nylon string.

The geometry of the string defines within the cube, a space from which Alessio can perform, whilst simultaneously transforming the installation into a giant inhabitable harp. Electronic sensors within the strings respond to human touch, allowing the audience to collaborate with the DJ, creating new sounds and influencing the musical output.

We navigated our way up the elegant staircase, adorned by Carlo Bernardini’s light installation entitled Infinity Room which was made from optical fibres used as tools to ‘draw’ in the space. Within the next room we found host designs from Peroni Nastro Azzurro’s The Creation Project, namely re-interpreting the brand’s bottle. Designers include Carlo Brandelli, Piero Lissoni, Andrea Morgante, Martino Gamper, Ludovice Giosca and Formafantasma.

The house is transformed when the Peroni Nastro Azzurro team host events, many of which very quickly sold out, including the Christian and Manuel Costardi (Michelin-starred brothers) unique dining experience; we spied them discussing the menu for their finale event.

The House of Peroni in London will reopen its doors again this November with even more immersive and inspiring workshops and masterclasses. In November, The House of Peroni will have a focus on fashion and film, with a fresh spin on new stories of Italian style. Visitors will be able to meet the artists, fashion designers and film directors on a new wave of Italian creativity while they eat, drink, and relax in the one-of-a-kind experience the house offers. Tickets will be available on the website from October.

Caroline Stephens

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United Kingdom

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