Lorenzo Bini co-founded studiometrico in 2004. The Architecture created by his firm emerges from a playful and careful understanding of materality. His portfolio showcases amazing sensitivity to site, local culture and construction technique.
1. Which of your projects has been the most rewarding and why?
LB: The most rewarding project so far has been the ‘bastard store’. We have been (and we still are) involved in so many ways in this project, there have been so many lucky coincidences and positive feedback that it’s almost scary to think that this project is now over… It’s that sort of feeling you get when you have just finished a very good book: What shall I read next?
2. Your recent project, the Bastard Store is a finalist for the ArchDaily building of the year Awards. What aspects of the project make it successful?
LB: It’s the refurbishment of a beautiful existing cinema theatre from the 50’s, so the environment it’s kind of special. It’s the ‘dream come true’ of a bunch of very good friends, who turned their main passion (skateboarding) into a profession. It has been an adventure and a big challenge, it’s a place that contains everything that belongs to the world of its owners. It’s a working place that people never really want to leave… it’s honest and without pretence, a bit like those old houses full of things collected in years. It is an unique place in the world… well, at least everyone is surprised it exists, specially in Italy.
3. How do you think architecture will change in the next 50 years?
LB: Architecture is not going to change because it is already constantly changing… It is like ‘Contemporary Art’: at a certain point someone decided that art was contemporary, or ahead of its times, than it will just stay that way…. always changing and eternally repeating.
4. What changes would you like to see in the Architectural profession?
LB: Being able to be in different places at the same time would be a huge improvement for architect’s lives. If only architects could clone themselves and simultaneously be on site, at the office, with clients and with students…
5. Do you think that Architecture tends to be trendy today?
LB: I think there are many buildings being built today that demonstrate a big emphasis on the way they look, rather than on the way they are built or the way they are spatially organised.
6. What would students learn from reviewing the body of architectural projects you have completed? Do you have any advice for upcoming students?
LB: Most of the students would probably be confused by looking at what we do, then they might want to change profession. Few of them might be a bit masochists, so they’d appreciate the fact that we like what we do…
7. What are you most proud of in your career or any aspect of life?
LB: A happy inhabitant of a place you have built is highly rewarding… apart from that I am proud to remain on the market.
8. Who do you think is the most overrated architect, and who do you think deserves more credit/recognition?
LB: I think it’s nonsense that Zaha Hadid has won the Pritzker Prize and Kazuyo Sejima hasn’t!
9. What aspect of Architecture do you find most important? What is fundamental to your practice and your design process?
LB: The most important aspects of Architecture for me are the construction principle and the quality of the space that is generated. Passion, dedication and optimism are fundamental in the design process.
10. What inspired you to become involved in Architecture? What inspires you now?
LB: I decided to study Architecture because I wanted to spend my time making drawings after years of reading and writing… I had no clue about what being an Architect meant, so I guess I have been lucky.
11. What other interests do you have?
LB: If I have to pick one thing I would say music. My own world wouldn’t be the same without Nick Cave, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Sonic Youth…
12. What is your favourite time of the day, and why?
LB: Just before the sun rises and right after the sun sets. When it’s neither bright, nor dark
13. What would be your ultimate design project?
LB: My own house would be the ultimate challenge, but also a nightmare. I’d also like to design a public swimming pool…
14. What are you doing at the moment?
LB: I am keeping my finger crossed waiting for the result of the last competition we have delivered, in the meantime we are developing the design of an ice cream shop in a small park.
15. Who would you most like to work with on a project?
LB: A design session with Oscar Niemeyer would be the best…
I’d like to thank Lorenzo for participating in the interview, it was a pleasure. If you’re interested in getting in touch or finding out more about his projects, e-mail Lorenzo at firstname.lastname@example.org
I also featured the Bastard Store in a recent post titled 7 Excellent Examples of Adaptive Reuse. Check it out here.
If you are interested in being interviewed and featured on Archi-Ninja, please contact me.