Starting up Awesome

A blog about starting up an architectural business in sunny, crisis-ridden Italy



Jan '13 - Nov '13

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    Why Architecture sucks (in Italy) in 2013

    By bigness
    Jul 17, '13 5:03 AM EST

    Mario Cucinella Architects, Expo 2015 Italian Pavillion Competition entry

    Zaha Hadid Architects, Baku Cultural Center.

    I am not sure which one of the two this one is...

    Nope, I can't tell them apart.

    I am kind of speechless, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this is like oral sex in the toilets of a bar

    Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program.


    • observant

      Modern architecture in Italy?  For one thing, the quality of new housing (usually condo blocks) in Italy is dismal, in my opinion.  I have a throw-away magazine from the new housing (similar condo blocks) in Porto PT and it is NICER than what I've seen in Italy.  There is something wrong with that picture.  Maybe it's because architectural schools in Italy are such factories that the filtration of future practitioners is poor.

      As for newer stuff, I was stunned by the new justice complex in Florence Italy, and not in a good way.  It is seen if driving between the city and the airport.  It looks like a cross between the Pyramids in Indianapolis, that shopping enclave on, yet off, Rodeo Drive in B.H., and something by Michael Graves or Robert Venturi a while back.  I wondered if the design had been finalized, sat in the drawer and/or on the computer, and then obtained funding later, such that the design was dusted off and built.  I have not seen newer architecture anywhere in Italy that I have liked.

      Jul 18, 13 4:42 pm  · 

      Absolutely on point. sometimes is the approval process that gets so long it renders any design obsolete (talk about 15 years to aprove and build any large scale project), but mostly is the problem is about schools: architecture schools in italy are mostly about theory (and outdated theory, at that), with very little design practice. The hours spent designing and being tutored and doing charrettes is ridiculously small when compared to the anglosaxon method. This has produced numerous generations of architects who are simply unable to manage the design process, develop it, and follow it through: they are only able to produce one sketch, one idea which is then carried more or less through to built form, resulting in a shallow project with no depth, complexy or intent. It has also killed any design culture this country might have had in the past (which was mostly coming from people like Scarpa, or Munari, or engineers like Nervi, not really from architects in the Modernist tradition, a la Mies). My mantra is becoming: whatever italian architects do, try to do the opposite. It is sad to see Mario Cucinella pull tricks like that, I know him very well and know what his team is capable of doing, so I really don't see the need to rip off ZH.

      Jul 19, 13 4:44 am  · 

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About this Blog

Starting up your own practice is often something you only dream of... what if one day you woke up and realized that you really had no other option? Young, determined, absolutely pennyless and without much of a clue, these are the chronicles of Richard and Stefano trying to start their dream practice: Osom Architects.

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