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Modern sophisticated contemporary architectures

Piuarch

Modern sophisticated contemporary architectures
By Luca Molinari -

There are unwritten rules in architecture that have been distilled and slowly filtered down the generations through the bed of experience and practical usage. They are rules born of a natural rapport with the climate and sun and generated by a rooted sense of what is urban and what is not. There are ways of conceiving and designing architecture unrelated to style or language that obey these unspoken rules of urban living and make a building clearly understandable to all. A building frontage that openly declares the nature of the world within; a system of entrances, staircases and courts that clearly orient visitors and inhabitants from the moment they enter; features that strike an unexpected chord in the passerby, making him pause, if only for a moment, and fix the place in his memory; a decisive yet unusual connection between earth and sky. These are all sensations I have had on several occasions when entering or passing through architectures designed by the Piuarch architectural practice. It is a warm, comforting feeling that everything has been built with a natural clarity of vision. Theirs are not repetitions of well-worn urban models, or signature buildings leaving their trademark on the land. Piuarch’s creations spring from an essential ability to read the particular urban context. I leave aside this Italian practice’s ability to build with dexterity and grace in that impalpable style that is contemporary design. Rather, I would like to explore their work as a continuity of the European urban tradition that still can teach us how to conceive and build our cities. Piuarch’s two recent achievements - the D&G headquarters in Milan, and the Quattro Corti building in St Petersburg - both take their cue from the traditional urban block. Given the different climates, however, their design strategies are diametrically opposed. The Milan programme incorporates two pre-existing buildings into one that runs the whole length of a city block. The architects...

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© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054