«All culture can be interpreted as the activity of organizing space. In some cases it is the space of our vital relationships, and then the corresponding organization is called technique. In other cases it is the mental space of reality and the reality of its organization is then called science or philosophy. Finally, the third class of cases lies between the first two. Here the space, or rather the spaces, are visible as the spaces of technology, but at the same time, they do not admit the interference of life, like the spaces of science and philosophy. The organization of these latter spaces is called art. But space and time are not divisible: it cannot be said that there is first time and then space. They always give themselves jointly» – P. A. Florenskij

In the Renaissance, man was seen as the architect of his own destiny, that is, with the possibility of building and conquering his own place in the world. The “Museum of Time” is a new cultural pole in Michelangelo Square in Florence (IT) in which the work of art is no longer statically and physically present but it is the Man who, at the center of the world, actively generates Art through his experience, participation and training.

This project offers a new solution for a Visual Art Gallery of the future. Brunelleschi in the Renaissance imagined a new concept of infinite, continuous and pre-existing space. This contemporary space is a modular grid: open, flexible and ever-changing. Man himself generates and composes regular modules over time based on the activities to be carried out (training, research, creation of works of art, refreshments, performances, playgrounds etc.).

Analyzing the site we’ve noticed that people cross the square to reach all the viewing points placed on borders and on public stairs. The grid is generated taking a cue from the geometric rules of the Renaissance in a contemporary way and is related to the statue in the center of the square. The museum becomes from a place of remembrance into a training and research space with programs aimed at children, young people and adults, an open and public square in a valuable landscape context.

The exhibitions are sustainable, the works of art are no longer physically brought to the site. Through an active virtual experience, thanks to the use of different technologies, (VR, apps with augmented reality, holograms, video mapping etc.) it is possible to access to infinite exhibitions based on the programming of the museum. The activities in the square are concentrated in semi-closed spaces in the background but gradually they dematerialize towards nature and landscape. Modules always provides social distancing, always generating multiples and submultiples internally as well.

The space pushes itself more and more towards nature and the view of the city of Florence, becoming itself part of Man and the Museum, breaking down the barriers of Time and Space. All modules have a modular constructive principle, based on modular metal poles that can be assembled with metal joints. Constructive poles lay in specifc holes placed where paving lines cross, they can be composed in different dimensions based on functions. Microforated metal sheets can be linked on structural poles in order to have semi-closed volumes. These metal sheets permit to have ventilated rooms, natural air crosses these elements, in order to follow measures against COVID-19.


architects: Marco Agresti, Maria Teresa Albano  |  client: Unknown  |  status: Competition (2020)  |  clasification: finalist  |  location: Florence, Italy (43.7628279,11.2649932)  |  climate: Temperate, Humid subtropical  |  material: vegetal  |  environment: Park  |  visualizer: Studio  |  scale: 8.000 m2 medium  |  types: cultural, museum  |  views: 587