t. joseph surjan

t. joseph surjan

Chicago, IL, US


La Città del Nonno


La Città del Nonno
Nonno translates to Grandfather in Italian.
La Città del Nonno is a theater of memories from a seventy-year-old who once owned a cafe named after him. The cafe was his gathering place as a storyteller and he filled notebooks with his tales. His hybrid idea of the tales is a utopia called La Città del Nonno and is constructed from four islands, three canals and twelve structures. These islands, canals and structures allow visitors to surround the perimeter of its borders, acting as its audience, but one can only occupy La Città del Nonno’s stage visually and mentally, not physically. To remain at the stage’s edge allows anyone the opportunity to create their own doorway into La Città del Nonno. Their doorway is one which is unlocked daily as the audience gathers to daydream and navigate through its architecture of characters which bridge the spaces between islands and canals. The islands are named after the cafe owner, his life partner, his daughter and his grandson. The architecture of La Città del Nonno is painted entirely pink in that it was his favorite color of gelato served in the cafe. 

La Città del Nonno’s four islands and twelves structures are listed below:
I_Isola del Maurizio
II_Isola del Annalisa
III_Isola del Stefania
IV_Isola del Luca

00_The Row Houses
01_The Wood Shop
02_The Burial Mounds
03_The Schoolhouse
04_The Natatorium
05_The Topiary
06_The Collector’s House
07_The Greenhouse
08_The Cafe
09_The Laundry
10_The Bakery
11_The PINK House

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Utopia
My Role: design scientist & writer
Additional Credits: S. Hjelte Fumanelli - project architect & digital modeling