In this interview Cino Zucchi, Architect, CZA has discussed about his studio, design approach, methods, and his latest projects. Read on for the answers…
Is there still a place for physical model making and sketching designs by hand?
I force the people in my studio to sketch sketchsketch and we do a lot of physical models but that doesn’t mean we don’t use sophisticated techniques. I would differentiate instruments for designing and instruments for visualization. Renderings have to be very good, in way renderings is so life like that sometimes I have the feeling they are like Madame Tussaud wax statues and I rather have a Canova statue, marble or a real person. Renderings today are getting so exceptional that you can almost not tell the difference. I think during the design phases, sketches are much more useful because there is a moment for precision but a moment for non-defined, unmeasured quality.
In your designs there is a use of panels, layering of materials on the façade. Can you talk about this characterization?
In the studio, we don’t have a strong specialization; we deal with many different themes, from exhibition design to urban design. In the sense we do housing, offices, the types are very different. Sometimes I think that modernism has an axiom, a continuity of interior of the building and exterior becomes by itself. I think you do need, in an urban situation, some kind of buffer, for example between public and private. In a way we use drawers, the drawers work because they hide whats inside, if everything was transparent there would be disorder and no privacy. We need a buffer between our individual spaces.
The façade of the building is both things: it’s an interface between the individual self- the inhabitant and the public realm. When we design large buildings, the skin is also a climatic buffer. Exposing the frame was popular before, today the frame cannot be directly shown because of fire protection, this layer can do many things, weather proofing, insulation, but also they show how to react to the sun. The building façade is like a sundial, when the sun turns, like a painting by Monet, the façade of the building can be as lively as Times Square without moving because the weather moves. To me thats phenomenal, I take responsibility for this quality.
Can you tell us what projects you are currently working on?
We won the competition for the lavazza coffee in Turin; the exceptional thing is not because it is an important company but, the location- a former industrial disused area, next to the center of Turin, an old power plant. So the project consists of one entity, we reunite all the offices of lavazza and the new public garden for the public. There will be a coffee museum, restaurant, event space and also we are experimenting the new workplace, because today, there is more emphasis in the physical office space.