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CONTENTS EDITORIAL Taking It Slow 4 TOPICS Rediscovering Slowness How a radical change of pace can help us take care of ourselves and the planet 6 INTERVIEW Ritchie's Recipe for Sustainability Build less, build better: the new architecture is merging technical and social skills 16 TOPICS A Collective Striving for a Better Life Designing buildings, forging relationships: our future’s shape is a matter of balance 28 EXCERPT

PICTORIAL Waterrijk Oesterdam Resort In the Netherlands, a strip of land torn from the sea becomes an oasis of well-being 36 TECHNICAL DOSSIER Davines Village The architectural archetype of the rural village takes a modern turn at Davines’ headquarters 48 NEW PROJECTS A Faithful Design Church of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, Lamezia Terme (CZ), Italy 58 A Masterclass in Design Rita Levi Montalcini Primary School, Porto Potenza Picena (MC), Italy 60 EXCERPT

RITCHIE’S RECIPE FOR SUSTAINABILITY Build less, buildbetter: the newarchitecture is merging technical and social skills A tireless innovator and researcher, lan Ritchie is rightfully known as a pioneer of sustainable architecture. As early as the 1980s, he was designing low-cost, solar-powered housing, while in 1993 he proposed a net-zero cultural centre for the French town of Terrasson Lavilledieu. In our interview, he discusses architectural work and the main issues in contemporary design, revealing his forbidden dream: to blur the lines that separate architects from engineers, and include in the curriculum of both of those professionals training in the social sciences — essential for envisioning better urban landscapes. Ian Ritchie is one of Britain’s leading architects currently practising. In 1981 he opened his own firm, ritchie*studio, and co-founded the engineering design firm Rice Francis Ritchie with Peter Rice and Martin Francis, which developed iconic projects such as the bioclimatic façades of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and the Louvre pyramids. As an international consultant and lecturer, Ritchie has been a member of the Royal Academy since 1998 and a professor at its Royal Academy Schools since 2004. He is also a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. In 2000 he was awarded the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). 16 EXCERPT


Previous page: the famous seven-metres-high inverted pyramid that illuminates the entrance of the Louvre Museum in Paris. This page: the spectacular Angela Burgess Recital Hall of the Royal Academy of Music in London. Photo by Adam Scott. ARCHITYPES 18 EXCERPT

AT: Architecture shapes our emotions and behaviour, as individuals and in our communities. Do you think it can change our planet on a more global scale? IR: We are the first animal on the planet capable of imagining and realizing new environments that, in turn, shape us and evolve as we evolve. Architecture can thus be defined as a neurodesign learning loop that affects us individually in the short term, societies in the longer term. However, the degree of evolution required to address global climate and biospheric uncertainties is unlikely to be affected by architecture. That would take too long, and the societal changes that need to happen are too profound. The best chance we have to reduce the amount of damage we do to the environment — and we have known this for decades— is to reduce the size of the human population and to consume less. But, as architects, since the beginning of the 20th century, we have been up against a well-designed wall; everything we do is measured by one simple statement: “Will it attract the consumer?” We have to break free of this if we want a more humane world. AT: What does it mean to employ “intelligent rather than stylistically driven design”? IR: I think it comes down to the difference between looking and seeing. Imagine casually looking at a shallow stream, taking a photo, posting it to Instagram, and moving on. And then imagine seeing it one afternoon while flyfishing — watching it ripple, the weeds waving in the current, the light dance upon the submerged stones. If you are seeing, not just looking, you’ll learn how the stones are channelling the water and where the trout are hiding, andwith that knowledge you’ll know just where to drop your fly to catch one to eat. Style is about presentation, identity, and marketing — a temporary fashion. Intelligent design is about better knowledge, to bring depth, meaning, and longer lasting solutions to any endeavour. Knowledge is the result of a process of continuous learning; about the client, the site, or new materials and techniques. And there are the big issues such as climate and energy, and investigating and anticipating the future. Knowledge is at the heart of my architecture, which is why our practice undertakes research on every project. My architecture is not a monologue but a dialogue, where architecture is a response and not just a statement, where ideas rather than ideology rule, and where architecture has brains as well as beauty. However, there is no universal method to accomplish this, which is why our practice is not trapped within a style. 19 ritchie’s recipe for sustainability EXCERPT

AT: In a previous interview, you introduced yourself as “an architect, a bit of an engineer, a bit of a poet, a bit of an artist.” What effect does it have if an architect has humanistic skills as well as technical ones? Why are they so important? IR: Above all, architects are servants. We design for society. Today that means also respecting our shared biosphere. A sensitive understanding of human needs and our environment, combined with a technical command of materials, enables a beautiful architectural synthesis. Many consider that my practices have led the way in merging these fields in order to successfully produce environmentally, socially, and culturally sustainable architecture, and as a result we often have driven innovation. Developing humanistic skills is essential to helping deliver the architecture that I, and my colleagues, strive to achieve. AT: We know you like to write poetry before starting work on a new project. What other personal activities does your creative process involve? IR: Collaborating with non-architects is an extremely rich source of inspiration. I meet many wonderful artists as a Royal Academician and as a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. I’m privileged to make etchings at Norman Ackroyd’s studio, where I can express, through what he described as “architectural calligraphy”, the first architectural representations derived frommy writings. At Barbara ARCHITYPES 20 EXCERPT

Rae’s studio in Edinburgh, I can indulge in celebrating colour through making monotypes, freeing my imagination. Then there’s my way of developing pre-concepts to design concepts by understanding a bit about the way my brain works. I have illustrated this in two diagrams. Plato’s notion of poiesis implies, in the collaborative process of making or creating the beautiful, a movement beyond the common cycle of birth and decay. In the change fromnon-being to being, there is an opportunity for ecstasis through innovation in thought and / or technique. AT: Sustainable architecture and generally speaking virtuous ways of building are deemed fundamental, but they often seem affordable by only a small section of the population — particularly during the current energy and economic crises. Do you think this is true? And if so, how can we change the way things are? IR: I am not sure that we all grasp what virtuous building actually is. For many years “the acceptable face of sustainable design” has been to place wood visibly on the outside of buildings. This is both naïve and disingenuous. Covering surfaces with “living green walls”, whether “pickled” moss or climbing plants, or placing trees on buildings is equally unsustainable. They may improve the air quality close to them, bring a nice ambience to the occupiers or to those who walk by, but generally these natural additions require extra water, nutrients, drainage, These pages: two hand-drawn sketches, by Ian Ritchie himself, illustrate his design process and philosophical thinking. Next pages: art installation Levitas — La terza montagna, by Ian Ritchie, at the Arte Sella open-air museum, in the Trentino region of Italy. Photos by Giacomo Bianchi. 21 ritchie’s recipe for sustainability EXCERPT

My only focus when designing a house is that it will mean something to the owner that I cannot possibly define. I can compose spaces and imagine the changing light in them, along with a sense of the acoustic and tactile qualities, but the owner must dictate colour. My own sense of home is quite different. I wrote this poem years ago… I have edited it here: ... A shadow cast is home. Under the sun, lying on the ground, the smell of the earth, song of a bird, a fleeting cloud. This is my real home, my spiritual sense of being breathes slowly, deeply. My architecture is for when it rains, when the wind blows, when darkness invades my heart, when I have been on the move and am not allowed to rest with my shadow. If I have the sun and if the night is warm, I am content in the grass. To find my shadow, my delight in my architecture, my home is to allow my soul to meet my 22 EXCERPT

momentarily still fleeting self. This is my home, my sanctuary in a hurry-hurry, screen-screen, rough-tough world. This is where my shadow and I shelter, inhabit, with my habits. Perhaps my habits are the expressions of me, my freedom to repeat them, to know them, to live with them an essential part of my being and my identity. Perhaps I inhabit my habits rather than my architecture. Perhaps my habits are simply me building memories — ... Who will remember my habits? When we leave home, we have emigrated, and we are changed forever when we migrate. We have decided to leave, we have left, and even if we do return it is to the place we left, not the home we knew, not home anymore. 23 © IAN RITCHIE, 2005 EXCERPT

additional structural capacity, and maintenance. Real sustainable building practices are found among the Indigenous peoples of the world. They use local materials and build structures with a careful understanding of local climate, land, and location. Architects need to move away from the one-sizefits-all approach — monuments to ego with a green label attached — towards truly economical and spatially adaptable architecture, and begin thinking more locally and regionally. AT: If the ultimate act of building sustainably is not building anything at all, how can we reverse the worldwide tendency to always build something new — especially when cities are full of empty, abandoned buildings nobody is using? Do you have any proposals for how we can valorize existing real estate assets, while balancing people’s needs against costs and the consumption of resources? IR: Change under one’s own control is not usually a problem for most people. Buying a new car or smartphone — lovely! Change in the interest of others is much harder. And that is one of the fundamental problems of post-industrialized society. If you propose new housing in a village, people will usually object because the project is outside their immediate control and will impact their lives — new buildings mean more people. But new can also mean renewal, adaptation. Reusing old buildings is intelligent and can be marketed as an alternative form of the new. The embodied energy in these old structures demands that we think very hard about repurposing them. In their reuse, questions becomemore challenging, and not only about whether a proper and fair analysis of the economic and carbon reduction benefits justify the strategy. To establish a paradigmshift in reusing and extending the lifespan of the carcasses of old buildings requires the availability of new lightweight and safe materials, including glass, which optimize thermal performance while not imposing additional loadings on the foundations, and assessing whether the existing infrastructures can accept the new uses envisaged for them. AT: What are your views on the slow living and slow architecture trends? IR: It began in Rome, with the slow food movement to defend regional food traditions. It strives to preserve respect for regionality, quality, and sustainability, as well as to educate consumers about the risks of monocultures. “Slow” suggests a fundamentally different way of thinking. Humans evolved to thrive in small tight-knit social groups and natural environments. Our genetic and neurological predisposition for such a life and the emotional equilibrium it engenders has evolved little, in spite of our unique adaptability. The slow living and slow architecture trends are a movement toward reintegrating these ways of being into the currently all-pervasive architectural and consumerist monocultures. Architecture based upon this philosophy will not be an embodiment of the self-asserting identity of the architect and discriminatory economic thinking, but of the holistic awareness of space, local enviThe Susie Sainsbury Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music. The project to design an entirely new theatre within the space of the old one was challenging, due to the constrained site into which the functions of a modern opera and musical theatre had to be introduced. A highly coordinated approach by the architects’s design team enabled the successful integration of all requirements —aesthetic, structural, acoustic, safety, mechanical, lighting and electrical systems. Photo by Adam Scott. ARCHITYPES 24 EXCERPT

ronment, and nature, to become places completed by human beings; truly human architectural and urban spaces that resonate with our “being”, in tune with our needs — truly appropriate works of architecture. AT: What is, or what should be, the role of architects? What are their professional, social, and ethical responsibilities? IR: Our role and responsibility are to design better environments for people and as well as we can for all life. We must keep learning, and apply our skills creatively and critically and ethically, with this purpose in mind. Most designers think that they are doing good, but are ignorant of what that may actually entail. Far too many architects simply approach their work with a focus on the bottom line. AT: Speaking of your favourite architect of all time, Mimar Sinan, you commented that he understood “it is all about the infrastructure.” So, what kind of adaptations do you think our infrastructure will require in the, not so distant, future? IR: There has a been much talk in recent decades of resilient infrastructures and smart cities. The essence of both is to manage resources better, more efficiently, and sustainably, to serve human needs. To do so, we need live data to create infrastructures that can efficientlymanage normality, scar25 ritchie’s recipe for sustainability EXCERPT


city and avoid catastrophe. More and more, this will be collected and analyzed using AI, and we are seeing a convergence of systems such that they can all be run by one entity—public or private. The majority of our post-industrialized towns and cities (and nations) are creaking under very old liquid infrastructures — water and sewage. These must be upgraded, and as most large conurbations are near oceans or rivers, investment in flood protection will become a priority if it isn’t already. Balancing public transport and individual mobility will require a readjustment and reallocation of the space between buildings, as is already happening in many cities. The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in London was designed to give scientists a chance to interact every day, encouraging conversations and collaborations. The building was officially opened in 2016 and has brought Ian Ritchie’s studio and Arup engineers a number of awards, including Major Building of the Year at the British Construction Industry Awards. Photos by Adam Scott and Grant Smith. 27 ritchie’s recipe for sustainability EXCERPT

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WWW.ZINTEK.IT € 5,00 We are looking for our lost time. Time to marvel, to learn, to design spaces and nd a new way to inhabit them. Maybe we can retrieve the slow pace of Nature and start imagining a future more full and satisfying. Human, again. EXCERPT