ON MAKING ARCHITECTURE
free reflections after reading 'The architect's responsibility interview with Renzo Piano'
Free reflections after reading 'The Architect's Responsibility Interview with Renzo Piano'.
. ... is first and foremost 'a fluid intellectual practice called to dialogue with all the disciplines that together raise fundamental questions about contemporary life'.
An intellectual practice contaminated by life, by the confrontation with people and their needs, by place, by history, by money, by technological, practical and organisational aspects.
. ... it is 'an adventure of thinking' ... a vision of the future! ... An exploration that begins by observing and listening to the natural and man-made elements of the place where one is going to work ... For the architect, it always presents itself as an opportunity to improve, to reorganise, to actively intervene in what is changing in the urban and social landscape we inhabit.
. ... 'It is a circular process between the level of conception and practical verification. It is not true that technology, science and construction come later!
You have an idea, you verify it at the level of feasibility, or you think about how to build it and ... you go back.
This is how it works: from the general to the specific and back again, because the project involves a responsibility that is not only aesthetic and functional, but also ethical and moral.
. ... it is a work of intelligence in which technology becomes a tool for the realisation of art (... because architecture is an artistic craft!).
The ability to have a profound knowledge of science allows us to forget it in order to make architecture.
. ... it is like creating, designing an organism that begins to live at the moment when it responds, almost naturally, to the needs that have been identified and analysed ...
... Making architecture' means paying attention to the life that a project generates in a particular place and time, and how it interacts with its surroundings.
This approach enters the humanistic, philosophical realm of architecture, which combines the world of science with that of knowledge, memory and history.
It is a profession that requires the ability to look inside and to look at things with interest, passion and dedication.
. ... Architecture is about serenity and tension, calm and energy, slowness and speed. Paradoxically, it is sometimes in slowness that one finds enormous speed, a great agility of thought, because in reflection very rapid connections are triggered.
It is here that the humanist architect works on emotions, on the search for atmosphere, the designer architect works on giving form, proportion and hierarchy to the space he builds.
. ... it is a work of discipline ... You have to be disciplined, you have to move in a game of strict rules, and then you have to enjoy 'subverting' them from time to time.
. ... is a work of study and historical research. The architect takes what is useful from history and transforms it into something new!
The history of architecture is a dictionary of successful and unsuccessful examples of the search for beauty, proportion, size, balance. It is wisdom transmitted through the practice of doing. True modernity can be in the material, in the technique, in the oldest idea!
Architecture must be able to express its time!
. ... is a work of experimentation.
AFTER THE PROJECT, IT IS THE BUILDING SITE THAT REVEALS THE HIERARCHIES OF CHOICES TO BE MADE.
. ... is a work about light. Light is a natural clock and therefore a design tool. It changes with time, with the climate, and gives different colours to walls and objects.
. ... it is a work about lightness. Lightness means making things lighter, making the shape of structures work... it means knowing the limits of resistance of the components, replacing rigidity with elasticity. Only when you have finished removing can you understand what is really necessary, what is essential.
By seeking lightness, you arrive at transparency, because by removing, you also remove opacity from the material, making it transparent, luminous. Lightness is the content of poetics, but above all it is a spiritual, philosophical fact. One must have it within oneself and seek it out.
It concerns the intelligence, which must be light, permeable, patient, in order to be able to wait for the right solution.
. ... it is an art imposed on the public, it is social.
. ... it is a local phenomenon in terms of tradition, culture, history and religious beliefs, but it is also universal because the concept of protection and religiosity is universal.
It is local because it is always linked to the place, the environment and the culture in which it is found. The universality lies in the ability of the architectural language to adapt to the place, to its time, and today also to the speed of communication, to the new technologies that bring together cultures, people, traditions and create new forms of communication.
The architect's skill lies in the ability to recognise and exploit potentialities that others do not see, to reflect on the relationship between the 'form of the place' and the 'form of the artefact', to search for that artistic tension that becomes the first perception of the project... Architecture must be able to express the time in which it is born.
Today, the architect has to deal with the two great revolutions of this century
. the scientific and technological revolution, which has completely transformed materials, techniques and processes
. that of planetary communication, which has abolished distances
IN A WORLD THAT HAS BECOME A GLOBAL VILLAGE, IT IS NOT THE COMPUTER THAT CONNECTS US, BUT THE SEA, THE WATER THAT TOUCHES ALL TERRITORIES AND MAKES US FEEL AT HOME EVEN IN JAPAN".