In the editorial of the new issue of Domus, guest editor Tadao Ando explains how the conservation of architectural works is not only a necessity, but also a creative means. This essay by the Japanese architect is followed by two more, both dedicated to the main themes of this issue: in his piece, Pierre-Antoine Gatier explains the practice of restoration by respecting the originality of the works. Massimo Faiferri talks about the projects of Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, awarded this year with the Pritzker Prize and known for their renovations sensitive to the authenticity of the spaces.
In the Architecture section we dig deeper into restorations with 6 projects from around the world; in Chile, a 19th century neoclassical style building is converted to accomodate the Chilean Constituent Assembly; Atelier Masōmī restores an ancient mosque in Niger, transforming it into a library; we explore in detail the long-awaited redevelopment of the Parisian department store Le Samaritaine by the hand of Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA; in Italy Gambardellarchitetti intervenes on the Casa del Fascio in Lissone, handing this rationalist structure back to the local community. In Tokyo Herzog & de Meuron for the clothing brand Uniqlo reinterprets the facade of a building from the 1980s while maintaining its original structure intact; in China, the architects of Kokaistudios recover a dilapidated steel factory and integrate exhibition (and work) spaces with a luminescent facade.
In the Art section we meet the two artists Tatsuo Miyajima and Es Devlin, who, through light installations, shapes and colors capture the different shades of the concept of “time”. We then discover a collection of furniture pieces inspired by the vernacular houses of the Mediterranean in the Design section.
The Creators column poses the question “How can we bridge time?” to famous artists and designers: Manuel Aires Mateus, Paul Smith, Balkrishna Doshi, Jean Nouvel, Neri Oxman, Thom Mayne, Sou Fujimoto, Dominique Perrault, Steven Holl and John Pawson elaborate their ideas through drawings, photographs and words.
In the section Around the Project, we discover the design and history of the Citroën DS, the historic car resulting from the collaboration between French technicians and Italian designers; we return to Milan to visit Studio Albori, known for its conservation and restoration projects.
In this month’s Diary: at the Round Table with Nicola Russi, Angelica Sylos Labini, Jonathan Olivares and Marianna Fantoni we talk about the future of the workplaces and how they are changing, starting from the question “Post-pandemic, will offices of the future be outdoors?”. In the column House like me we enter the Bolognese residence of the Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, amidst design furnishings and works of art by friends Pilar Gómez Cossío, Salvatore Ravo and Greta Frau. This is followed by an interview with Enrico Pasi, general manager of Suicoke, the well-known Japanese footwear brand, on the reinterpretation of sandals and the role of japanese aesthetics on Western art.
In Points of view, the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale is at the center of the debate. The main themes are sustainability and the choices of curator Hashim Sarkis, and his “interpretation measurable by the paradoxical removal of architecture itself”. This is followed by pages dedicated to architecture for kids, to new (and old) talents in the field of design and craftsmanship, to recycled materials and finally a reflection on the famous Gio Ponti De-lux lamp. The Diary closes with a conversation between the editorial director of Domus Walter Mariotti and Irene Tinagli, Italian MEP and urban economist, on post-Covid cities, macroeconomics and “the opportunity not to repeat the mistakes made in the past”.
Attached to this double issue, the second number of DomusAir, a special dedicated entirely to transportation and connections of the post-Covid era. The focus of the issue is “The global debate on the future of mobility” and is divided into 5 sections: Hot Tips, topics, ideas and people at the forefront of the field of transport and aviation; Projects, ongoing projects for stations, airports and bridges around the world; Technology, or digital innovation as an engine of change, drones and hydrogen-powered trains; Sustainability, on the global impact of interconnections; and finally Take Off, an essay by Giulio De Carli on the construction of the infrastructures of the future.