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Of Process And Practice: A Conversation With Studio Fuksas

Founded nearly 50 years ago in Rome, it is difficult to pin down an overarching theme in the work of Studio Fuksas: their designs have been built in North America, Asia and across Europe (with another design planned for Australia); they regularly operate at varying scales, from a colossal trade fair center and an international airport down to a small parish church; and their buildings all demonstrate huge stylistic variety. In this interview from Indian Architect and Builder's April 2015 issue, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas discuss the process behind their work, and the role of variation, context and concept in their designs.

Indian Architect & Builder: Did you always want to be an architect? Can you share with us your journey while discovering your commitment towards this field?

Massimiliano Fuksas: No, I never thought I’d want to be an architect. My early aspirations were to become a poet. The beauty of language, various forms of expression and prose always intrigued me. This ambition then evolved in to the desire of being an artist. Architecture was really my last choice. The thought of being an architect occurred to me only when I was around twenty. I was in university when I realized that architecture is probably the easiest and simplest interpretation of art and culture. As I continued my journey in the University of Rome, I began to develop a passion for this multifaceted field of knowledge. It was in my third year of university when I found my fervor for architecture and saw myself as an individual in the practice of architecture; a field that in one or more ways satisfied my earlier ambitions of being a poet and an artist.

Ferrari Operational Headquarters and Research Centre, 2004. Image © Maurizio Marcato The Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport was designed to evoke the form of a manta ray. Image © Leonardo Finotti Tbilisi Public Service Hall, 2012. Image © Studio Fuksas New Milan Trade Fair. Image © Studio Fuksas

Inside the Homes of Eight Famous Architects

Originally published in Metropolis Magazine as "Inside the Homes and Workspaces of 8 Great Architects", this article shows the spaces occupied by some of the best-known architects in the world. Documented for an exhibition that will be featured at the Milan Design Week 2014, the images give a glimpse inside the private worlds of some of our favorite designers.

It's a cliche that architects have messy workspaces. From chaos comes creation, so the phrase goes. But an upcoming exhibition at this year's Salone del Mobile intends to dispel the myth. Where Architects Live will present glimpses into the personal spaces of eight significant architects: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai.

Curator Francesca Molteni interviewed each of the designers in their private homes and came away with one finding: architects are actually quite tidy. The studios are all pristinely ordered; books are neatly stowed away, figurines and objets astutely displayed, and table tops swept clean. The photographs below are part of the exhibition materials, produced with the help of scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, which faithfully document the physical environments in images, video, and audio. These will be used to recreate the architects' "rooms" at Salone del Mobile in April.

Where Architects Live is not limited to satisfying our curiosity about what these architects’ homes look like. Richard Rogers’ affirmation that “a room is the beginning of a city” resonates with the project’s aim in trying to articulate its subjects’ personal tastes and obsessions, and how those are reflected in their architectural work.

Read on to see more images of the inside of architects' homes and studios

© Davide Pizzigoni © Davide Pizzigoni © Romulo Fialdini © Davide Pizzigoni

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas to design Cultural Center in Chengdu

© Studio Fuksas
© Studio Fuksas

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas has been announced as winner of an international competition to design and construct the first cultural center in Chengdu, China. In their winning proposal, Fuksas combined four, elliptical shaped buildings with a spiral structure to create an inclusive artist complex that offers a center for the performing arts, a cultural center, offices Writer and Literary Association, and an apartment building for artists. Learn more about the Chengdu Tianfu Cultural and Performance Center after the break.

Tbilisi Public Service Hall / Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas

© Moreno Maggi
© Moreno Maggi

Architects:  Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas Location: Tbilisi, Georgia Client: LEPL Civil Registry Agency – Giorgi Vashadze / LEPL National Public Registry Agency Area: 42,000 sqm Project Year: 2010 – 2012 Photographers: Moreno Maggi, Studio Fuksas

© Moreno Maggi © Studio Fuksas © Studio Fuksas © Studio Fuksas

Nardini Grappa Distillery "Bolle" / Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas

© Matteo Danesin
© Matteo Danesin

The Nardini Grappa Distillary was completed in 2004, designed by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas in Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Italy – the first impressions of the complex are two otherworldly inflated disks hover over a pool of water. Supported on stilts, the glass and steel envelope reflects the water below. Visitors stroll over paths that criss cross over the pool. A descending ramp leads into the 100-seat auditorium below, forming a natural canyon. Underwater lights illuminate the surface, creating a shimmer across the grounds of the distillery and reflected in the floating volumes above. Come back after the break for more.

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas Wins Competition To Create 'Greenest City in Italy'

Projects like the High LineBloomingdale Trail, and Allegheny Green Boulevard illustrate that disused, industrial infrastructure is rife with re-use potential and often can create new ways for a city to connect. However, what opportunities can this infrastructure present when it is still in use?

Read about the problem facing Bari and how it might be resolved after the break...