Past Present Future: Cino Zucchi

 John Hill
18. October 2018
Office of Cino Zucchi Architetti (Photo @ Cino Zucchi Architetti)
Itinerant Office's "Past, Present, Future: about being an architect yesterday, today and beyond" consists of interviews with eleven architects heading firms based in Italy and the Netherlands. Here we highlight Cino Zucchi, founder and chief architect of Milan's Cino Zucchi Architetti.
Cino Zucchi founded his eponymous firm in Milan after undergraduate studies at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduate studies in architecture at Politecnico di Milano, where he still teaches. His office employs around 20 architects and realizes projects of various types: office, residential, retail, and public, as well as landscapes and urban design. Watch the short videos for insight on the past, present, and future of Cino Zucchi Architetti or visit the "Past, Present, Future" website to read a transcript of Itinerant Office's interview with Zucchi.


Zucchi admits to having a "strange" education that combines scientific learning in the United States and historical research after his return to Italy. He even admits that he almost became a historian, but as an architect he combines these educations into a mind with a "double nature." Yet even with two degrees, Zucchi sees himself as self-trained, both academically and professionally; he collages learning with empiricism to develop his own approach to architecture. 


Zucchi sees two approaches to the role of the architect: as a specialist in aesthetics who wraps a building figured out by others, almost like packaging; or like a film director who is constantly negotiating and coordinating the various pieces and people involved. Memorably, Zucchi says he strives to create something "beautiful like a Belle & Sebastian song or like Toy Story 3," the latter pleasing everybody from age 4 to 61, Zucchi's age.


Zucchi's collaging of science and history is also evident in his views on the future. Considering cities as born from functional modernism, he sees them now adapting much like nature, in which the relationship between form and content changes through evolution. With new generations facing huge environmental problems, and with cities as the most energy efficient settings for people, old buildings are being reshaped for new uses – 21st century adaptation.

"Past, Present, Future" is a project curated by Gianpiero Venturini, founder of Itinerant Office, with the support of the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome. World-Architects is proud to be a media partner of the project.

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