Turin | PAV – Center of contemporary art

Place: Turin, Country: Italy
Owner: PAV Turin
Architectural and landscape design: Gianluca Cosmacini, Alessandro Fassi 

Artistic concept: Piero Gilardi 

Photos courtesy of PAV - Parco Arte Vivente
Text by inexhibit

trèfle PAV turin

“The Trèfle”, permanent installation by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, 2006

PAV – Experimental centre of contemporary art
by Federica Lusiardi, Inexhibit

The PAV is an experimental centre for contemporary arts based in Turin.
Composed of an open-air exhibition space and an interactive museum, we repute the PAV  a very interesting project for many aspects, fundamental for an institution devoted to contemporary art and creativity: originality of the concept, architectural quality, capability to create a dialogue between artists and the public, propensity to innovation, attention to the environment as a creative source of inspiration.

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Aerial view of the PAV

Opened in 2008, the PAV is located in a dismissed industrial area, where once automotive parts were produced, on a 23,000 square metres surface, 750 of which reserved to services, learning spaces, workshops as well as to the internal exhibition area.
Its open-air space is one of the most important key-points of the PAV, it is conceived as a place in continuous evolution, a space shaped by the natural environment and that “is structured and defined by the process of living things – plants, animals, people and through the relationships these form with each other and which generate unexpected transformations, not determined a priori by the urban landscape“.
The park is thus both a permanent work in progress and a sustainability archetype housing temporary artworks and, currently, 12 site-specific installations including  Tréfle by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster which was the first permanent work, realised in 2006.

trèfle PAV turin

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Top: “The Trèfle”, permanent installation by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, 2006
Bottom left: “Corpo Vegetale” by Felice Gualtieri, Maria Luisa Priori , Armando Mangone – PAV prize 2011.
Bottom rigth: a photo taken during a workshop

The main building, located at the centre of the park, follows the principles of the bio-climatic architecture. The construction is the pivoting point of a system that connects the indoor and the outdoor areas; the building has an octagonal footprint organized around a central courtyard. The terrapins connecting the building with the park, along with reinforcing the organic image of the system, are also aimed to reduce the thermal transmission of the envelope.
In 2010, the PAV has been awarded the Architetture Rivelate (Revealed Architectures) prize by the Turin Architects Board.

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The internal courtyard and the facade of the greenhouse

The PAV organizes many activities, all focused on the relationship between Nature and Art but, differently from other cases where nature is simply a background for the artworks, the PAV encourage using nature as a protagonist of the various events: exhibitions, workshops for adults and children, learning activities dedicated to arise public attention to sustainability by using the contemporary art language, publications and inter-disciplinary seminars.

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Images from “Living Material – Strumenti e processi dell’arte del vivente”,
Exhibition curated by Ivana Mulatero, from a proposal by Nicolas Bourriaud
Top: “Enclave” by Francesco Mariotti, 2007.
Bottom: “The creator has a master plan” by Ennio Betrand, 2003-2007



Images from “Bioma” by Piero Gilardi.
Environmental installation, interactive systems, minerals and living materials. Tecnology by Riccardo Colella.

PAV-orto grafico

Image from “Orto-Grafico”: Lab Exhibition curated by Orietta Brombin, 2012


Image from “Living Works” by Eduardo Kac
“Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, 1994-2011. Installation: canary, philodendrum, cage, technological equipments .
In collaboration with Castello di Rivoli, Museo Arte Contemporanea.


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PAV – Living Art Park
PAV Parco Arte Vivente Torino

The PAV – Parco Arte Vivente (Living Art Park) in Turin is an experimental contemporary art centre opened in 2008 and located in a dismissed industrial area

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