Ceramic identity. Surfaces and architectural design | by Danilo Signorello

The talk given by architect Cino Zucchi at the Press Café hosted by Interni during Cersaie 2019 was a lively, thought-provoking event peppered with jokes and personal anecdotes. Founder of the practice CZA – Cino Zucchi Architetti, Zucchi is well known for his focus on the building envelope as a strongly material presence. He creates façade motifs that are closely connected to the internal distribution of the buildings and to the urban or landscape strategy and at the same time are influenced by the façade openings, whether repetitive or staggered, identical or contrasting, each characterised by a specific material.

“The facade is the interface between people and the city and is now a sophisticated skin. From the facades of the last century, we have moved on to today’s hi-tech envelopes. In clothing terms, we can think of it as the equivalent of evolving from a traditional loden cape to a technical mountaineering jacket by Salewa,” explains Zucchi.

His projects (such as the residential complex on the island of Giudecca near Venice, the houses at Portello and Porta Nuova in Milan, the Salewa offices in Bolzano, the Lavazza Headquarters and the extension of the Automobile Museum in Turin, the headquarters of Gruppo M in Assago, the Pedrali Automated Warehouse in Mornico al Serio (BG), to mention just the most famous) use materials capable of forming bas-relief inlays or textile motifs, such as bricks of various colours, plaster, tiles, metal panelling and enamelled glass, as well as hanging terraces, loggias, metal frames, openings and mismatched elements: a sequence of alternatives that appear to enclose many buildings within a single complex.

“If the twentieth century was defined by the expansion of the city, the third millennium must address its metamorphosis and transformation. Building façades need to be rethought and dealt with in their complexity, not as autonomous elements or formal exercises but as inhabited backdrops, lived in and capable of shaping public space,” adds Zucchi.

In short, we can achieve new environmental quality in our cities by developing conscious projects and architectures and by devoting attention to facade design and building finishes.


From: the Press Cafés at Cersaie 2019
Ceramic identity. Surfaces and architectural design

Talk given by Cino Zucchi


May 2020