Past Present Future: Marco Casamonti
9. January 2019
Archea Associati staff at Cantina Antinori Winery (Photo © Archea Associati)
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 Marco Casamonti, a founding partner of Italy's Archea Associati.
Marco Casamonti and fellow Archea partners Laura Andreini and Giovanni Polazzi founded Archea Associati in Florence in 1988. Since then Archea has expanded to more around 120 architects in three offices in Italy (Florence, Milan, Rome) and three design offices overseas (Beijing, Dubai, São Paulo). Although the firm focuses on architecture, its production also includes graphic design, exhibitions, applied research, and publishing — the last through involvement with Area magazine. Watch the short videos below for insight on the past, present, and future of Archea Associati or visit the "Past, Present, Future" website to read a transcript of Itinerant Office's interview with Casamonti.
Research has been an important part of Archea's process since the firm was founded decades ago. An extreme case that Casamonti describes is how his love of wineries led him to write a book about the design of them even before he had a client to design one. Cantine: architetture, 1990-2005 came out in 2004, the same year Archea started designing the Cantina Antinori Winery, which was completed in 2013 and is the firm's most well known project.
Casamonti addresses the notion of Past, Present, Future more directly than the other architects in Itinerant Office's interview series. Equating it with the Renaissance, he says: "In my opinion the present moves, as each day is the present. You can think to the future and have a dream, but you can only do so with knowledge of past. If you only think in the past, you will live in nostalgia."
Respect is an important word for Casamonti: "Respect nature, other people, differences, knowledge, citizens, life. If we lose the meaning of this important word, we lose the energy of architecture ... There are over seven billion people in the world. But what will happen when there are fifteen billion? We need to respect people, life and their relations. This is the only keyword: respect."
"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.