A Chat with Fabrizio Barozzi by Alberto Rossini
The Architecture of Necessity
"For us, it's really important to build only what's necessary. Succeeding in building only what's necessary inevitably involves a process of reducing elements to a minimum, to find those elements that are constitutive of the project."
It's in this statement that we can summarize the creative process of Barozzi Veiga Studio. It's about a meticulous and continuous quest for the reduction of complexity, understanding which elements are truly essential and vital for architecture.
This method encompasses various stages and considerations, involving every aspect of architectural design, continually transitioning from macro to micro. Barozzi Veiga Studio is focused on defining, through a non-linear process, an element that can embody any function, something as versatile as possible. This approach allows natural and spontaneous forms to be shaped by a clear and necessary architectural gesture that encapsulates the foundational elements of a project. The true value of this process lies in establishing a relationship with pre-existing conditions, a precise and respectful dialogue with the genius loci of each place.
Some projects are born from the relationship they intend to establish with existing buildings or contexts they confront. It's possible for a new intervention to have its historical "roots," binding itself inseparably with the territory it inhabits. The theme of "rooting" is sometimes addressed by using subterranean solutions or by reintroducing elements or structures typical of the project sites. Examining plans and sections, we discover that, in some projects, there's an almost vital connection between historical buildings and the new design.
Fabrizio Barozzi's analysis of the concept of "roots" helps us understand that the creative process aims to be delicate and respectful toward buildings that, for various reasons, are already present and hold a certain importance. Thus, a project is born from the "collision" between the delicacy of the existing building and the programmatic demands of the new design. The architect must interpret the expressions of the places and the collective will within which they work. An architect's interpretation of the context is necessarily tied to the historical circumstances of the period, but it should be as much as possible an interpretation of a moment that doesn't necessarily influence the future evolution of cities.
This process can be described as a true and deep critique of the conditions, the characteristics, and the forms already present on the site. This critique enables the condensation of various languages and elements, which are then transformed into modern archetypes, current analogies to historical forms and canonical ideals. From this, it's clear how important the definition of the "Necessary" in architecture is—a search for continuity between places and their history, which is then translated into modern elements, defining "Interstices," elements of tradition that become a new way of revisiting the historical origins of a place.
Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur by Barozzi Veiga
"Approaching the project, we discover that the intervention proposes an almost vital connection, as if the designed building takes its roots from Villa Planta in an almost poetic gesture. Despite the two structures appearing detached, the project actually develops underground, rooting itself in the subsoil to 'draw' from the history and genius loci of the city of Chur, creating a new centrality and a new connection."