Architects Can Act More Like DJs: In conversation with Cino Zucchi


Residential buildings in the ex Mercato Navile area, Bologna, Italy, 2014. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Cino Zucchi Architetti

Residential buildings in the ex Mercato Navile area, Bologna, Italy, 2014. Image Courtesy of Courtesy of Cino Zucchi Architetti

Architect Cino Zucchi (b. 1955) grew up and practices in Milan, Italy. He was trained at MIT in Cambridge and the Politecnico di Milano, but claims to be largely self-taught, although influenced by such of his countrymen as Aldo Rossi and Manfredo Tafuri. He is internationally known for diverse projects across Europe. Many are both abstracted and contextual residential complexes in Italy, particularly in Milan, Bologna, Parma, Ravenna, and, most notably, in Venice. Zucchi’s D residential building in Giudecca, attracted international attention and praise when it was completed in 2003. I met Cino Zucchi last year during the Venice Architecture Biennale; that meeting led to an extensive interview that we recently engaged in over Zoom between New York and the architect’s sunlight and books-filled Milan studio. We discussed symbolism behind putting trees on skyscrapers, why mediocre buildings can pass as “good” ones, about his preference for interpretation and manipulation over invention, the need to find a proper language for each new occasion, fascination with so-called “reversed engineering,” why we need quiet buildings, and his thoughts on contemporary Italian architecture. The following is an edited excerpt from our conversation.

Read more »