Seven questions by LISt Lab
This interview is part of “Architectural Research Workshop – Architetture e progetti” by LISt Lab.
Is there any influence on your choice of working in Brescia, along the great metropolis-megalopolis of the Padana plain? What relationship do you have with your city and the context in which you live?
The fact of belonging influences one’ s lifestyle and the way of looking at reality, which allows a dimension that is still directly related it can positively modify one’s ability to look at the project. We could consider ourselves “glocal”, we work locally confronting ourselves with an international horizon in which we constantly travel.
Which are the constant references of your work and of your visual and formal universe? Do you feel that your culture as a contemporary architect is more influenced by tradition or by choices beyond and others?
Apart from our different academic backgrounds after the Politecnico of Milan, the one in Italy and the other in France, we both share a common interest in the research developed over the last 30 years in the peninsula Iberica with regard to the attention for the landscape as interpreted in a contemporary key, to an inclination towards synthesis, to the need for an architecture that is at the same time intense, sensual and material.
Nowadays the crisis has selected values, ideas, themes and models. Where do you stand in the scenario of the italian production and the international production of the project?
Our work has some similarities in the Italian panorama, meaning that, while looking at the most experimental European productions, it declines with a non-traditionalist specific Italian style. This means that we believe it is classical without classicism, assertive, rooted in places, experimental without any formal exhibitionism.
Another interesting fact regarding your work that we like about you and which we have long supported in a cultural “battle” is the coherence between architecture and internal process. In the prevalence of one over the other, we often lose precious elements for a significant quality and unity. To what do you owe this coherence and how do you achieve it?
Architecture is a process that integrates space, volume, area, construction, matter and light. They are all intrinsically integrated and so inseparable. the efforts of the project are closely linked to this ability to make them meaningful.
If you were to choose between your various types of architecture, which ones represent you most?
In this last job, a small residential project on lake Iseo, all our previous research lines converge, with reference to Alps Villa and the project for Rixheim technical centre. For example, this house, that by its “chela” shaped claw house, can be defined as a poetic and programmatic manifesto for its focus on the landscape, which becomes the structuring material of the form, in which the volumetric characterization finds a formal complexity generated by the relationships with the surrounding places. The hybrid construction thus creates an advanced industrialized and artisanal system, defining the character of the building between the archetypal layout and the simultaneous use of the language adopted.
Is there a contemporary architect that you admire a lot? Why?
As for the synthesis between invention, the ability to grasp the founding concept of each project and the restitution of an original development that is coherent in its premises but always different, Herzog de Meuron certainly are an important methodological reference.
With three final words how do you see yourself aRW and your studio over the next ten years?
1.Europe (we have a head office in Paris with an architect, Francisco Mangado our Spanish partner) with another branch in Milan.
2. Experimentation, which is intended to make each project unique and an opportunity for real research;
3. Change of dimensions. this will require a structure for increasingly articulated and correlated groups. At the same time, the challenge must be to expand by increasing the complexity of the processes but always seeking a meaningful and poetic architecture without ever confusing the purposes with the means.