ROMANTIC AND PRAGMATIC APPROACH TO "IDEA"
The “Mariani architects" is an architectural planning studio founded by Fabio Mariani in 1992, specialized in creating sustainable development projects both in the environmental and in the economic field. Born and brought up in a healthy dichotomy between a strict, pragmatic conception of enterprise and a personal, intuitive approach to problems, he has transfused this duplicity into his plans. The result has been “turning vision into reality”.
The following text represents a sort of manifesto of what architecture is for us:
NATURE AND ARCHITECTURE
In order to face the issue of the relation nature-architecture and to understand the roots of our love for green and repulsion for grey, it is necessary to understand first what the aim of architecture is. Since the first decades of the previous century architecture has interrupted its dialogue with men and nature, forgetting its aim.
In the Earthly Paradise man lived happily in the wilderness: architecture did not exist , indeed it was nature itself and was represented by Eden, the perfect garden.
With the original sin man broke his agreement with nature that, from sweet mother, turned into a cruel step-mother. The perfect garden becomes a hostile place which man, to survive, has been forced to modify, trying to artificially rebuild the beloved Eden respecting and simultaneously fearing nature.
Thus we can adfirm that the main purpose of architecture is to evoke Eden’s myth through the use of devices.
We live in a world where most of the places are artificial even when we think they are perfectly natural : agriculture can be a clear example of artificial landscape extensive use. For ages architecture has listened to the messages sent by the environment, then…
the huge scientific and technological development of the last two centuries has made people deaf to nature’s voice.
The modern movement in architecture has tried to build a universally valid model based on a non-colour, grey, thus creating the globalizing “international style”. The building as a perfect machine representing human victory over nature. Same style, same technology, same materials: glass skycrapers at the Equator (we have modern air conditioning systems!), flat roofs in the mountains (fashionable) and so on. But Le Corbusier (this movement’s prophet but also a bold experimenter deserving to be saved) said at the end of his life: “life is right, and the architect is wrong”. The victory of colours over the grey of a rigid theorical model. Goethe, asked about his favorite colour, answered: “I like rainbows”.
At this point we are approaching a possibile solution using technology to resume a respectful dialogue with nature.
Green over the grey. This motto by my master, architect Emilio Ambasz, prophet of the green architecture, expresses the necessity for the new architecture to “cover” the errors of a recent past by creating places where man can feel reconciled with nature. How can we reach that? The answer is: through artifice, that is human technical and creative abilities.
The instruments to realize a new architecture can be partially found in the modern “biobuilding” techniques and materials:
organic materials (roof and vertical gardens);
energy saving devices (passive sunshine, thermic insulation);
pollution reduction (renewable energy sources like solar, aeolian);
recyclable and renewable materials etc.
This list has always been applied by people who used by necessity the formula that regulate evolution: maximum result with minimum effort.
But something else is needed to transform a group of techniques into architecture: it is the soul, the invisibile that gives life to lifeless matter through emotions.
For some people the invisibile comes from the heart, for others it is faith, for all of us and so also for me it is pure love for life.
To fulfil the dream of an idylliac environment, we must change the urbanistic concept based on the separation of the building from its context. It is the vision of landscape that changes: no longer the house in the garden, but the house is also the garden, no longer the city as opposed to the countryside, but the city which is blended with it. The cruel stepmother has become mother again, the uterus is the place where two lives stand side by side as one.