Studio Marco Piva is located in the creative and multicultural heart of Milan: more of a Research Centre and Experimental Workshop than an Architecture and Design Firm.
It is here that, based on the methodological study of forms, materials and technologies, Marco Piva and his multidisciplinary design teams conceive and develop different scale projects for the most prestigious private and public clients around the world, ranging from master planning, to architecture, interior design and product design.
Meticulous research on the formal and functional character of spaces, developed with great attention to the environment, lays the foundation for the Studio’s planning and design philosophy, pursuing design continuity between architecture and interior design, a strategic component for the development of complex, transversal and functional projects.
STARTING OVER FROM NATURE
We have seen entire continents burn, we are watching the polar icecaps melt before our eyes; we have created huge islands of plastic and generated permanent toxic clouds. We are witnessing the devastation of the land all around us; huge and inhuman cities are expanding everywhere, even in the poorest regions of the earth.
We are faced with decisions that can no longer be postponed and we – urban planners, architects and designers – can play a major role in proposing new visions and, above all, new strategic solutions, which are crucial to achieve the necessary balance, to define a new pact with the planet.
At our firm we are reviewing all design processes, focusing on new content and value to include in our projects. We are considering a new model of polycentric city, where buildings help create energy, recycle water, purify the air and reduce energy consumption with the use of innovative technology that is already available, and sustain an intense presence of greenery.
The selection of materials is also fundamental for giving projects their own identity and recognition on the vast panorama of hospitality, residential and private buildings. Marble, stone, ceramics, glass, metals and fabrics emanate tactile and visual perceptions with their textures and colours, confirming the architect’s direction as an essential tool for achieving the expected level of excellence.
HARMONY WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
At the firm, we are focusing our attention on configuring multifunctional architectural organisms that recall a “neighbourhood” model, based on the concept of functional integration and flexibility: buildings where you can live, work, socialise, shop, enjoy parks and gardens, places for leisure and meeting. Extensive buildings suspended between green areas, full of light with large balconies and terraces, buildings that flow with the city and their surrounding area.
Our Studio community, made up mainly of engineers, architects and designers, mostly young people from a range of different countries and cultures, is facing the difficult challenges of the future through a process of selecting and promoting the best ideas that further the pursuit for new social and environmental balances.
In the medium and long term, we are developing concepts and actions in the world of design, from architecture to product design, that can bring about change based on a different and more mature awareness of how our planning can help achieve new goals which, ethically speaking, can no longer be postponed.
A broader strategic vision must be developed, rethinking the land, the cities, how to reconstruct a balance between the inner city and the suburbs, between built-up and green areas, focusing on careful consumption of land, urban regeneration with the demolition of dilapidated buildings that are no longer usable, the reduction of road traffic, conceiving cities, neighbourhoods and buildings on a more human scale as a whole.
A NEW LIGHT ON DESIGN
Light as a design tool
Light is fundamental for the interpretation of architecture and interior design: it creates a narrative, it surrounds and involves, harmoniously relating to all the other elements such as sound, shape and colour, with the aim of not only creating unique and emotional settings, but also structured and functional systems for different uses.
The study of light is an essential part of our design process; it cannot be an additional process or an afterthought to the general design of the space. Instead, it must be a structural part of the initial concept, consistently developed throughout all thematic passages, from the study of architectural volumes, to the interiors, to product design.
Light is research
Light is research, experimentation and passion, it not only serves to illuminate spaces and environments, but also to create the visual conditions that convey sensations, emphasizing the definition of shapes and the choice of materials, patterns and textures. It has to be able to play with colours and, if necessary, generate them too.
Light is magic
Technical light is needed to create the underlying optical structure, inserted into the very fabric of the architecture or the main elements of interior design – floors, walls and ceilings. This type of light is essential for describing environments in an adjustable, dynamic way, spreading luminous halos, projecting targeted or pivoting beams, creating accents on specific functional or decorative elements.
Light is decoration
Decorative light, on the other hand, characterises the poetic and emotional aspects; it makes the narrative more articulate, formal and material. The achievement of the optimal coexistence between technical light and emotional light generates an engaging formal richness, expressing an aesthetic story in which the lighting design is recognisable and consistent with a more general discourse based on the perception of the typical values of designs and products Made in Italy.
Light and solid matter
The relationship between light and solid matter is one of the themes we do experimental research on every day, with the help of the most advanced technologies. The study of production techniques used for the most innovative materials, the cuts, the texturing and the effect created with both natural and artificial light guides the definition of the compositional language and the sensorial perceptual path I wish to give the project. It is not a matter of simply creating an envelope, i.e. the external finish of the material; the relationship with the surrounding space must be specifically defined to always give materials a new life or different expressive possibilities.
Technology: space control
One aspect that has to be taken into account in today’s designs is the extraordinary ability to combine lighting systems and other home functions with the most advanced technological devices, designed to improve quality of life, safety and energy savings, while simplifying the planning, installation maintenance and use of the technology itself. Home automation plays an increasingly important role in man-made environments: it makes devices, appliances and systems “intelligent” for a coordinated, integrated and computerized management of technological systems.
DESIGN BEYOND FUNCTIONALITY
My idea of design: harmony, elegance and a bit of magic
I believe that research and experimentation are essential elements in Italian design – elements that have always formed the basis of my work. Simplicity, harmony and elegance are the objectives I pursue; research on materials and production processes, whether artisanal or industrial, is emblematic of my approach to a non-standardised form of design, which at times appears exclusive.