Past Present Future: Mario Cucinella

John Hill
14. November 2018
Office of Mario Cucinella Architects (Photo courtesy of MC-A)

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 Mario Cucinella, founder of Bologna's Mario Cucinella Architects.

Mario Cucinella founded his eponymous firm first in Paris in 1992, and then in Bologna in 1999, following architectural studies at the University of Genoa and working at Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Now based in Bologna, Mario Cucinella Architects employs around 60 people and works on civic, commercial, educational, health care, residential, and urban design projects in and beyond Italy, with an emphasis on sustainable design. Watch the short videos for insight on the past, present, and future of Mario Cucinella Architects or visit the "Past, Present, Future" website to read a transcript of Itinerant Office's interview with Cucinella.


"Build a bridge with your past" is one piece of advice Cucinella gives after looking back to his beginnings. Three famous architects influenced him in particular in his education and the early days of his practice: Giancarlo De Carlo, his mentor; Renzo Piano, whom he worked with for five years; and Le Corbusier, who designed the space where Cucinella opened his office in 1992.


Cucinella's strong goals for sustainability have led him to hire, in addition to architects, a handful of people working on environmental strategies. Employing a dedicated model maker who works in a model shop comes from his years at RPBW. He sees sustainability as a way of bridging with the past, by learning from the past, when buildings did not rely on mechanical and other systems.


Cucinella is skeptical of the digital. He appreciates technology as tools and ways to make life easier, but he brings up a good point: real, physical buildings make up our most important and lasting memories and emotions. 

"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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