Architecture jumps out at us today. Like a tiger, like a wild animal that we no longer know how to tame, that we no longer know how to put in a cage. So, we must ride the tiger. Architecture is born from sometimes chance encounters with clients, unexpected dialogues with people, and finds the necessary answers in the work of a studio. It is the miracle of a drawing made by many hands, which becomes a construction. Then everyone can recognize the piece of work done and is moved, because today that line has become a house, a hotel, an office, and so on. So, recounting our architecture is a way of making an autobiography of many people, brought together by architecture under one roof. The tale looks not only at the past, but also and above all at the future, because doing architecture is everyone’s chosen destiny. Or perhaps everyone has been chosen by architecture and dragged into the game without almost realising it. Then you look back and realise that there has been a change in living, also thanks to us and our role as interpreters of a wider and faster change.
It used to be easier: there were trends, there were conventicles, groups, vanguards. Back then, you would design in the manner of the Master of the day. Then there was the time of the archistars, of the prophets, those who are always present, who always have a word to say, an image to propose (or to impose) obsessively on social media. So much so that firepower is now measured on the ability to “be in the media”, to tell their stories, to participate in debates, meetings, or rather, “talks”. It is the banal logic of advertising, whereby the repetition of the message generates the conviction that my detergent washes whiter. So, my archistar is better than yours. The repetition of the message is the obsession of the brand, it sells the architect like any pair of jeans.
What happened to us at WiP Architetti was instead to be overwhelmed, dazzled, struck by a series of HYPER OBJECTS, of big issues to be resolved. So not so much elaborate speeches to be made to become famous, but realities that need to be heard, experienced, faced. And architecture is a tool to do this, and we grow organically because of the magnitude of the challenges we face. We have always conceived of ourselves as a service to the client, but now there has been a qualitative leap, towards architecture as a stable asset, a value to be pursued by all, where function and form are inside a new object. It is no longer enough to do our duty as good professionals; we must pursue our destiny to be architects whatever it takes.
We are talking about something that is not simply the creation of a beautiful image, the usual science fiction rendering (which we do well, by the way). We are talking about architecture as something that changes lives. Nothing less. Sure, it’s a somewhat lofty, perhaps arrogant claim, but for less than that it’s not worth the effort. We are realising, for some time now, that it is no longer enough to make a good project, complying with regulations, satisfying the client…, all the obvious and important things. But now the bar is being raised so high because the challenges are higher. It’s a bit like the flight of Icarus, it’s worth putting yourself to the test even if you take a risk.
Hyperobjects are those things that hit us so hard that we realise that the reality of the world is not under our total control. It is not with a nice ‘green’ design or by conjuring up some idyllic scenario of parks and gardens that we can solve the problem of global warming. Least of all with the most advanced energy-saving technologies or the most specific certifications. We are immersed in the problem, and we are part of the problem with our transformative activity. The first and most urgent thing to do is not to make people deludedly believe that thanks to architecture everything can change, but to take the question, the interrogation of the meaning of our civilisation to the highest level and make it itself become architecture and representation. To change ourselves and our Architecture. Architecture as awareness of disproportion and at the same time architecture that has the naive boldness to challenge the Hyperobjects. The shift we are making is to direct our forces beyond the perimeter of the already known. Many couldn’t take the strain and left. Others will come to play the game.
Here are some case studies, which are a piece of the journey inside our history, inside our challenges. Some built, some will be soon… it is our autobiography that looks more to the future, than to the past. Each chapter is a theme for our Work in Progress, it is not a celebration, it is already the party.
THE HOTEL ON THE MOUNTAIN / THE ABSOLUTE GESTURE OF THE HERMIT
WIP Architetti also knows how to find space and time to cultivate pure research: on the typology of the hotel in this case but understood as a place for meditation and listening to the Self. The hotel is the matrix of a refuge, an artifice to explore the mountain in solitude. A daring space where one can rediscover the existential roots of one’s own making. Here one can experience the sound of one’s soul and try to delve into the mystery of creativity. Silence is the food of the sign. On the one hand, we cannot do without immersing ourselves in the tumult of urban life, but we cannot do without the enchantment and discovery of the profound meaning of things. On this beautiful, unresolved, but fruitful duality we like to meet every explorer of architecture, so you are all invited on the journey.
Federico Barbero, Nicola Di Troia, Giuseppe Garbetta, Marco Splendore
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