Past Present Future: Stefano Boeri

John Hill
5. March 2019
Office of Stefano Boeri Architetti (Photo: Luca Chiaundano)

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 Stefano Boeri, founder of Milan's Stefano Boeri Architetti.

Stefano Boeri founded his eponymous practice in 1993 (it was Boeri Studio until 2008 and since then has been Stefano Boeri Architetti), after graduating from Politecnico in Milan with an architecture degree and obtaining a PhD from Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV). In 2014 Stefano Boeri Architetti opened an office in Shanghai, where they are working on the Nanjing Vertical Forest, and he hints in the interview that they may open another office in the Netherlands to realize a similar project there. The approximately 30 architects of Stefano Boeri Architetti focus on "biodiversity and sustainable architecture, social housing, [and] strategic urban development at different scales." Watch the short videos below for insight on the past, present, and future of Stefano Boeri Architetti or visit the "Past, Present, Future" website to read a transcript of Itinerant Office's interview with Boeri.


Boeri, whose mother worked as an architect and furniture designer, traces the "beginning of everything" for him to a visit they made to Louis Kahn's Salk Institute in California. He found the artificial landscape "amazing," particularly in the way it famously opens up the Pacific Ocean. His later education, though, focused on cities and their planning.


Boeri, like any successful architect, leads a team of designers. In this role he defines himself as "editor in chief," a word choice that recalls his editorial stints at the two main Italian architecture and design magazines: Domus (2004-2008) and Abitare (2007-2011). Refreshingly, he explains how he "cultivate obsessions and failures," learning from the latter rather than being frustrated by them.


The path of Boeri's practice has been determined in great part by the award-winning Bosco Verticale in Milan, at least in terms of climate change and reforestation. Here Boeri also touches upon what can be learned from favelas and how architects should "never abandon curiosity."

"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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