Architecture in My Experience As a Frontier Between Art and Science
Abstract of the lecture
The history and philosophy of my work coincide perfectly and are the simple and linear result of the story of my life: thus, here it is in a few words.
I was born into a family of builders (for many generations), and I spent the first period of my professional life realizing "pieces" of architecture, not "architecture". And it is from the experience gained between 1964 and 1970 that I inherited my attention to detail, my love for the craftman's approach and the patient game, and an ingrained habit for putting together saying and doing, the head and the hand.
Then, between 1971 and 1977, I had the most extraordinary team-work experience with the Centre Beaubourg in Paris, with Richard Rogers, Peter Rice, Tom Barker, Shunji Ishida and Noriaki Okabe, two Japanese architects, who became at that time both my associates. This was my last experience of "Piece by piece" architecture, and also the most intense exercise of determination and professional advancement.
Following this, from 1978 to 1982, came the reaction: fatigue for big projects and the desire to try my strength against another marvellous world: that of human and social intercourse. During this period, thanks to the projects for UNESCO, I had numerous experiences of participation, from which I learned a great deal on the art of listening (and also not to mistake instruments for objectives). I was educated in humility, I gleaned diffidence towards personal glorification and the advantages of calm creativity.
The itinerant exhibition for IBM, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Calder exhibition in Turin, the rehabilitation of the Schlumberger factory in Paris, the Lowara Head Offices in Vicenza, the Sports Hall in Ravenna, The FIAT Lingotto factory rehabilitation in Turin, the ancient walls of RhodesE.
What is my philosophy of architecture? I do not know: what interests me is "making architecture"; I am neither a moralist nor a puritan, still less a boy-scout.
And, luckily, I have no style to hand down: only, perhaps, a manner (which on the other hand I find quite ancient) of engaging in the metier of the architect.