Materials for architecture at THE PLAN Café | by Simone Migliori

Among the Press Cafés organised during Cersaie 2019 by Confindustria Ceramica in collaboration with leading Italian publishers, THE PLAN Café hosted a conversation between Nicola Leonardi, editor of THE PLAN, and architects Gianandrea Barreca (Barreca & La Varra) and Francesco Isidori (Labics).

The guests talked at length about materials, the various stages of the selection process and the importance of design choices. Some architects, like Francesco Isidori, envisage projects in a concrete form complete with all the materials and technologies that will be used, whereas others, like Gian Andrea Barreca, focus first of all on the architecture and only at a later stage think about how it will be implemented and what solutions will be adopted. One exception was the Vertical Forest (“Bosco Verticale”) project in Milan, where the greenery was seen as an architectural material in its own right and which was conceived from the outset as a building that would incorporate vegetation as a fundamental component. As a result, the façade changes through the seasons and, as the architect noted, makes us accept the idea of an architecture that is not static but changes with the passing of the months.

The relationship with ceramics is rather different, as architects see it as a constantly evolving sector driven by continuous research efforts. As a result, they struggle to keep up with new proposals and collections, which emerge with almost the same pace as those of the world of fashion, while the life cycles of their own projects are much longer, 4 or 5 years at least. Nonetheless, they appreciate the design potential of ceramics, its flexibility and material qualities, all of which make it suitable for an increasingly wide range of applications.

To conclude, the participants discussed another very important event for the world of architecture, the Venice Biennale. Their hope is that it will serve as a place for dialogue and networking and as a platform for discussing the architectural agenda for the years to come.

From: the Press Cafés at Cersaie 2019


The materials of architecture

with Gianandrea Barreca, Barreca & La Varra, and Francesco Isidori, Labics

moderated by Nicola Leonardi, editor of THE PLAN



April 2020