Cheer Up City!

Happy Buildings for healthy people

We were invited to participate in the Mirabilia curatorial project by Italian architecture practice Profferlo Architecture.


This traveling exhibition is set up in different locations in which invited artists, designers and architects are asked to reflect on a theme by making a physical model.


We were asked to reinterpret a city from the famous story of Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.

We chose to make an intervention for the city of Zemrude, a place where people slowly start to look down and can only see the bad side of the city.

“It is the mood of the beholder that gives the city of Zemrude it’s form.”



We responded with a design for a city hall for Zemrude which façades cheer up those who look down but look normal to those already looking up: Cheer Up City.




We believe architecture is not just about healthy buildings but about ‘happy buildings’ that are also fun to use and interact with.




In this project we wanted to highlight the serious effects that our surroundings have on our well being in a fun and playful way. In these times of isolation, we can start to miss the social qualities of our built environment, which is the foundation of our work as architects.


il Giardino delle Sculture Volanti
Il Giardino delle Sculture Volanti (the garden of the floating sculptures) collects ten international works inspired by the book Invisible Cities written by Italo Calvino. It is a selection of a wider project, Mirabilia, curated by Antilia Gallery and exhibited in Bitonto, Treviso and Matera.
The exhibition is set in a metaphorical lush garden, inspired by the Persian pairi-dae’- za, which means “fenced place” and is the origin of the term paradise. It contains amenities that only the few can enjoy. The configuration of the paradise garden is regular and geometrical, in contrast with the chaotic world outside. A central water source flows towards the four cardinal directions, dividing the spatial domain into geometric fields and working as a spring that disseminates resources in the surroundings. The invisible cities populate such narrative landscape that is offered to the visitor.

Boano Prišmontas, Diogo Aguiar Studio, Figura, Gaelen Pinnock, gosplan architects, Jaeger Koechlin, Johan Hermijanto, LAGADO architects, Materia Ordinaria, Outpost Office, Roberto Monte

typology model, exhibition
event Presenze Contemporanee 2020
location Parete Art Museum, Palazzo Ducale di Parete and Materia Gallery, Matera, Italy
curators Fabiana Dicuonzo, Giuseppe Resta
exhibition design PROFFERLO architecture
exhibition photography PROFFERLO architecture
model photography LAGADO architects