Architype Dialogue presents
What was the most difficult issue about working on a building that focuses on religion, or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in your project?
The notion of spirituality,escaping the liturgical boundaries, has climbed over the walls of the buildings in order to travel and free itself of the needs of a regulated place. On this line of reasoning the main principle behind my projects remains, just like it has always been for architects of Western Christianity, that of revealing, in the buildings, the cross. Showing the cross, gradually acts as a typological element, is the eye of the needle where the sacred space continues to show its true colours. The fusion between the cross, layout of the building, and the human figure, as a reference of an element of re-birth,continues to gain value. The figure is the figure of Christ. In its human form it introduces excellence and fragility to the typological figure, revealing the necessary, reiterated sacrifice.
Did this project expand or evolve your role as an architect in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the architect is changing on current projects?
I consider architecture as a continuous different reconstruction or, if you like, as a continuous, constant medication of the wounds that modern man brings to the world’s body. This immeasurable reality binds architecture to a silent and tidy interpretation of things. The most unformed matter, and distressing chaos, have no cards to play. Only measure can illuminate them with a new non glaring light. Under this light the eternal renewal of typology can germinate.
How is your design aesthetic possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new thought and solutions?
The Twentieth Century has favored the use of new technologies as a solution to problems tied with discipline, making more functional and engineering devices, which are certainly comforting, to a society that is constantly searching for unnecessary, not essential and expensive elements. This has caused construction activities, apparently more sophisticated, to be enslaved and dependent of new technological and energetic demands. And now we are trapped in this vicious cycle and we’re going through a great deal of trouble trying to find sustainable development through the use of further technological complication. The great process pertaining to building materials, which in history has always been particularly characterized and resolved in the continuity between the material structure of the ground and the internal structure of the building itself (stone that becomes quoin, tuff that becomes a block, clay that becomes brick) has been brutally interrupted in its process. Today it is mainly new technologies, which are not self-sufficient and often times not compatible, that create the grounds for more needs and demands. The abuse of materials and the block in the transmission of techniques, connected to the specificity of each place of origin, has consequently stimulated ingenuous adherences to more commercial proposals.
In the context of this project, how is your office and design process being influenced by current trends in academic curricula and incoming young architects? In turn, how are current projects and processes guiding the ongoing reformulation and development of academic curricula?
The catastrophe of landscape, induced by the twentieth century, has now changed the distance among things, resulting in a alteration of centuries-old relations. But you cannot think of replacing that system with a drift, in spite of the crisis it is undergoing. In such a context it may even appear seditious to invoke words as rule and measure. But we know we have to fit in the riverbed that has these words as a barrier against the uncertainties of our time. Only then can we hope for our age to converge within the longer age of architecture.