Rustico recuperato

Rustico recuperato

In its latest report ‘Eurispes said that in Italy 8 meter of our soil are cementified each second. It’s as impressive as that: While you were reading these words 64 square meters of Italy have been cemented.

That numbers belong to a twentieth century logic, when the gain was proportional to the cubic feet of buildings and infrastructure made​​. That’s why the recovery and restructuring interventions are the most precious and delicate ones, and this work by the architects Giorgio Balestra and Silvia Brocchini ( in Serra San Quirico (AN) is a beautiful example.

The property used to look like this:

It was nice to see the material of the study, with photographs and details of the solutions adopted for this intervention. Any restoration is a special case, with unique problems to be solved, where the difference is made by the experience of the designer and the Contractor.
The final outcome of the operation is clearly visible in this second gallery.

In this context, the tub made by Piscine Castiglione, fits perfectly. It covers a 36 square meters area and has an elongated rectangular profile, it seems to be trying to reach out to the horizon on one side and go inside the building on the other.

The tub was made of sandstone, like the rest of the house and outdoor spaces (it was the typical material of the area, used to built houses before the arrival of concrete) and recalls the rich presence of water, which is clearly discernible thanks to the flow of the many streams in the area.

Dio Padre Misericordioso, progettata da Richard Meier, nel quartiere Tor Tre Teste

Are churches built in the last 50 years ugly?

Are modern churches ugly?
For the Vicariate and cardinals as Gianfranco Ravasi, Minister of Culture of the Holy See, the churches built during the last twenty years in the suburbs of Rome are “conference rooms, similar to sports halls, brutalized and vulgar spaces …”.
The last famous person to jump on the bandwagon of criticism was the Director of the Vatican Museums and Superintendent of the artistic heritage of the Holy See, who, during the presentation of the book “Churches in the Roman suburbs”, published by Electa, said, “Churches? Parishes? At the most we can talk about exhibition spaces, environments that do not call for prayer or meditation” and continued with” Nothing to do with the baroque churches that for centuries have been speaking of Christian faith with visible tabernacles, domes, icons, images of life of the Church that help pastors in their catechesis. Even the Orthodox churches of Russia perform to the tasks of formation and catechesis ”

It’s nice to discover that the Vatican has noticed the new sacred buildings, rather than representing the divine, appear to represent a new deity “Saint Apartment block Administrator.”

New churchs most resembls the buildings of the suburbs than divine and sacred places.

Imbucati di Sky arte HD – Meeting Toyo Ito

Imbucati di Sky arte HD – Meeting Toyo Ito

As an SkyArte unofficial reporter #imbucatoSkyArte (Sky arte HD) I managed to ask a few questions to Toyo Ito. For those who do not know Ito, he is a world-renowned architect, he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012 and was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize (the Nobel Prize for architecture in 2013).

Toyo Ito is the rock star of architecture and design.

Thanks to being at the same wonderful event Lexus I could join the Master and, with the help of a talented interpreter, exchange a few words and make a couple of questions.

Toyo Ito was really very willing and witty in response, he explained to me that in his installation for Lexus we cound’t see their car because in that way people ask themself some questions and feel some emotions. When young japanese people buy a car, he said, they don’t pay much attention to the shape, but they are attracted by the technological concept intead.

Then we entered the realm of the history of architecture, analyzing, in a quick bird’s eye view, the figure of the man in the architectural design of the last 100 years.
It is not common knowledge that during early ‘900 Le Corbusier revolutionized the design of buildings requiring human measures as a measure to build the city. According to Ito architectural philosophy of our day relativizes man and places him into a natural process, as an evident result also buildings and cities must be sustainable and a man is just one of the many natural elements that form our universe.

After thanking him for giving me so much time, I gave him a classic souvenir from Venice bought a few days ago in a stall.

Toyo Ito

The evolution of architectural thought in a comic book

Architecture, before being a building is a thought, If only because it is extremely cheaper than a skyscraper

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Modernism, Minimalism. He was, together with Le Corbusier, one of the fathers of modern architecture and a revolutionary cigar lover who replaced the prevailing architectural styles thanks to a steady abolition of all ornament.
He created a tabula rasa on which volumes and pure concepts such as the glass used in its buildings could soar. But modernism, over time, lost its imagination, transforming into a straitjacket to which you could not rebel.

Robert Venturi. Postmodernism was the natural reaction to modernism. He considered the contemporary city as outside the framework of modern architecture and reintroduced symbolism, contradiction and complexity ignoring the previous values ​​such as simplicity and consistency. Postmodernism produced a forest of uninteresting skyscrapers.

Philip Cortelyou Johnson. Opportunism and eclecticism. As a curator he was able to identify and absorb architectural styles and had the ability to capture the spirit of his times. Later he was able to iinnovate materials. forms and even vocabulary into his works. His Glass House is a compendium of the history of the twentieth century.

Rem Koolhaas. Cynical realism . He was nicknamed the Le Corbusierof our times and an attentive observer. With his essays he investigated phenomena as The Berlin Wall, the Generic City, the problem of Large Size, China, Globalization, Shopping, etc..
By saying “More is better” recognizes the fact that accumulation and bundling have replaced higher forms of organization such as the hierarchy of space and composition. Understanding precedes action.

Barack Hussein Obama. Unity and optimism. Proposes a change through unity . There’s no reason to choose between Democrats and Republicans, when you can choose the United States of America.

Bjarke Ingles. Utopic pragmatism. The history of architecture has always been dominated by two different trends: the avant-garde with crazy ideas, often far from reality, and the strict organization of associated firms that build predictable and boring blocks of excellent quality. Ingles is among these two opposed schools of thought with the aim to create the perfect places from a social, economic and environmental point of view.

Taken from: Yes is more, Taschen 2011

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his Barcelona chair

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his Barcelona chair

Today I’ll tell you the story of a chair.

Once upon a time there was a cigars lover architect, he was born in 1886 in Aachen, Germany. He was so good that became the director of the best design school over the last 200 years.

He was unique, he didn’t like decorations and stuccos, his motto was “Less is more”.

His houses were minimal, with no frills, therein volumes and materials reigned supreme in the compositional space: everything was functional, nothing was superfluous.

In 1929, Germany decided to put our architect in charge of the construction of its pavilion for the Expo this year in Barcelona.

Before accepting the assigment, he sat down and smoked a whole cigar, then started to draw.

It was the most exciting challenge of his entire career, he had to build a pavilion to represent his country.

What he created was something incredibly original for 1929, a building that was not a house nor a warehouse, or an exhibition space. It was a building with no windows and no doors, it had no bricks or tiles and was devoid of function, it didn’t have a bathroom and had no rooms.

It was a space bounded by marble slabs, steel and glass, next to a water tank; a proportionate and surprising place.

His building became widespread even before it was built and its reputation reached the Spanish monarchs who wanted to visit it. When someone told the news to the architect, he jumped dropping ashes on the drawing board and, it is said he exclaimed, “Fuck no.”

He knew that the regal protocol required a seat for the monarch to sit down and, of course, he didn’t put any chair into such a perfect space so beautiful that could be compared with the Parthenon.

He didn’t lose heart and began to design two chairs for the regal asses.

What he created was something comparable to the modern iPhone: someting with a revolutionary, ageless, unique design,

The Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe was born this way and we can still see i in almost all pictures of interior architecture and within the most exclusive houses.

The pavilion was demolished 6 months after the end of the Expo, but the chairs by Mies are still manufactured and marketed.

PS: the pavilion was rebuilt by a group of Spanish architects between 1983 and 1986 and you can still visit it in Barcelona at the foot of Montjuïc