The studio is based in Bologna and employs a team of architects and engineers from various countries, has solid experience in architectural design with particular attention to energy and environmental issues, industrial design and technological research through collaboration with universities and research programs of the European Commission.

Mario Cucinella, Hon FAIA, Int. Fellow RIBA

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Italian architect Mario Cucinella is amongst the most important architects practicing in Europe today with multiple award-winning international design projects. Not only is Cucinella’s work lauded for design excellence but he is an undisputed global leader in sustainable practices ranging from individual residences to urban master plans. The impact and significance of his work – both social and environmental – achieved in his role as an architect, educator and in service have been recognized world-wide and most recently (2016) by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) who bestowed upon him the prestigious International Fellowship. In 2017 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded him the prestigious Honorary Fellowship. For the 2018 Venice Biennale, Mario Cucinella will be the curator of the Italian Pavilion.


A winner of several competitions, he has built transformational work in civic, commercial, educational, health care, residential and urban design in Italy as well as in Algeria, China, Ghana, Palestine and other locations. Holistic design excellence, sustainable building and the rational use of energy, are the focus of Cucinella’s practice and research. His work is driven by the positive long-term impact that each building can have on the regeneration of the surrounding environment - natural, socio-economic and urban. Working together with clients and communities, Cucinella always encourages the adoption of a design language capable of expressing the beauty, richness and resources of local cultures.


Spanning 30 years of practice, Cucinella’s extraordinary work sits in the foreground of a very formative education and internship period. Graduating with a degree in architecture from the University of Genoa in 1986 he was mentored by Professor and Architect Giancarlo De Carlo (RIBA Royal Gold Medal 1993). From 1987 to 1992 he worked with world-reknowned Renzo Piano (Pritzker Award 1998) in the Renzo Piano Building Workshop first in Genoa and then Paris. He founded Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA) in Paris in 1992 and later in Bologna in 1999 where he continues to operate today with a staff of 55 architects, engineers and sustainability experts.


Service is an integral part of Cucinella’s life and work. In 2012, he founded Building Green Futures (BGF), a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable development through green architecture and urban regeneration. The mission of BGF is to create built environments that incorporate clean technologies and local knowledge for better living conditions and sustainable access to natural resources in developing and least developed countries. The flagship project of Building Green Futures is the Kuwait School in Gaza, developed in partnership with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Further to this, since 2014 Cucinella has worked with Architect and ‘Italian Senator’ Renzo Piano on the G124 project for the recovery of the suburbs in Italy. He is currently a Director of the Scientific Committee of PLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture).


Cucinella’s knowledge and experience is sought after internationally. He delivers high profile lectures on a regular basis and has appointments in several academic institutions such as the Faculty of Architecture in Ferrara, Italy, The University of Nottingham, UK, ‘Guest Professor in Emerging Technologies’ at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, ‘Guest Professor of Architecture’ at the Faculty Federico II in Naples, Italy and several other institutions.


In search of high impact and needed model of educating the leaders of tomorrow, in 2015 Cucinella founded SOS. – the School of Sustainability – in Bologna. SOS is an practice-based integrated education, practice and research experience intended to build a culture of sustainability design methods, practices through dialogue and sharing a common vision of the future. SOS serves as a nexus for the exchange of knowledge for the building industry, the community and the profession.


In summary Cucinella best captures his mission in his own words:

Envisioning sustainable buildings means entering into an intimate relationship with the climate and with the concept of place. We have to imagine buildings that have only a minimum of visible technology, and maximize instead the efficiency of form, as materials change to become an active part in the final result, silently performing a task, a function, and becoming part of a new circular economy. This process seems to me to be a step closer to the complexity of nature rather than to that of mechanical artifice such that buildings will possess a high degree of empathy, a creative empathy."


Since the beginning of its activities, he received major awards in international competitions:

  • 2017 Honorary Fellowship Award by the American Institute of Architects for exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society on an international level.
  • 2016 RIBA International Fellowship by the Honours Committee of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). London, UK
  • 2016 Architizer A+ Awards, Special Mention 2016, Category: Educational. New York, USA 
  • 2016 Urbanistica 2016, First prize, Project: Master Plan San Berillo in Catania, Italy 
  • 2015 Sterminata Bellezza Award 2015 for "Nursery in Guastalla" project by Legambiente in collaboration with Symbola, National Council of Architects and Comieco. Milan, Italy
  • 2015 Premio Etico 2015 for the project "Kwame Nkrumah Presidential Library" by Plana GranDesign Cultural Association
  • 2014 WT Smart Cities Award First Prize for the New Headquarters ARPT, Autorité de Régulation de la Poste et des Télécommunications in Algiers, Algeria
  • 2012 ANCE Catania Architecture Lifetime Award 2012 - Catania, Italy
  • 2012 Built for Peace Pilosio International Award. Project 'Kuwait School in Gaza'. Udine, Italy
  • 2012 Best Office Architecture Award, Doha, Qatar, 2012. Project 'One Airport Square', Accra, Ghana
  • 2011 National Architetture Lifetime Award - Freiburg, Germany
  • 2011 PIDA Architecture Award. International Award for Sustainability 2011 - Ischia, Italy
  • 2011 MIPIM Award. Green Building Award Winner to the New Headquarters 3M in Milano. France
  • 2011 US Award 10. Class Architecture Second Prize for new Parma Commercial Center. Competition organized by the magazine US Ufficio Stile, il Sole24 Ore. Italy
  • 2010 US Award 09 Class Architecture First Prize for the new 3M Italia headquarters in Milan. Competition organized by the magazine US-Ufficio Stile, il Sole 24Ore. Italy
  • 2009 MIPIM Architecture Review Future Projects Award. Frist Prize Winner of ‘Sustainability’ for the projects "ARPAE Ferrara" and "Casa 100k €". France
  • 2009 MIPIM Architecture Review Future Projects Award. Mention in the category 'Residences' for the project Casa 100k €. France
  • 2009 MIPIM Award. Winner of the Green Building Award for the Building Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET) in China. France
  • 2009 SPACE Award. Chinese Magazine SPACE awarded the annual prize ‘Best Environmentally Friendly Building’ to the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET). China
  • 2008 IBS Award 2008 (International Building Skin-tech). The German magazine XIA Intelligente Architektur awarded the prize IBS to SIEEB Sino Italian Ecological and Energy Efficient Building in China. Germany
  • 2007 Honorable Mention Barbara Cappochin Foundation for “Premio Speciale per la cura degli elementi Architettonico e Costruttivo” for the project SIEEB - Sino-Italian Ecological and Energy Efficient Building. Italy
  • 2007 Lombard Elite Winner Prize for best design studio in the Chinese market, China Awards 2007, Milan, Italy
  • 2007 International Architecture Award 2007 Winner Prize to the SIEEB Sino Italian Ecological and Energy Efficient Building, The Chicago Athenaeum - Museum of Architecture and Design. Chicago, USA
  • 2006 Energy Performance + Architecture Award Winner - Salon Interclima Elec Home Building Paris, France
  • 2005 Cityscape Architectural Review Awards “Design for an Emerging World”. Dubai
  • 2005 Special Award for the Environment First Prize for the project of the new headquarters of the Ministry of Tourism in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. United Arab Emirates
  • 2004 Outstanding Architect World Renewable Energy Congress VIII in Denver, Colorado, USA
  • 2003 AR+D International Architectural Award for eBO Pavillon in Bologna. UK
  • 2003 International Forum Design Award 2003 for the design project “Maxi Woody” Lamp produced by iGuzzini Illuminazione. Germany
  • 2003 Medaglia d’Oro all’Architettura Italiana, Triennale di Milano. Italy
  • 2002 BDYA, Building Design Young Architect of the Year Award Honorable mention. UK
  • 1999 Eurosolar Award Italia 1999, for the iGuzzini Illuminazione New Headquarters in Recanati. Italy

exhibitions and shows

  • 17th November - 18th December 2016. "Creative Empathy. Milan Metropolitan Area: five projects of Mario Cucinella Architects" exhibition in Triennale di Milano Palace.
  • April 7th - 11th. Fuorisalone Week. Exhibition and workshop organized by SOS - School of Sustainability in SupersudioPiù Space (Tortona District)
  • May 3rd - November 6th. "Organismi" Exhibition at GAM - Gallery of Modern Art in Turin.
  • 2014, Ecobuild 2014, with the project Masterplan Veneto City (Italy), London, UK
  • 2013 X Bienal de Arquitetura de São Paulo, with the project Masterplan San Berillo Catania (Italy), Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • 2011-2012 Francia Ressources de l’Architecture durable Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Paris Belleville e CNRS Paris
  • 2011 Bologna Italia Architectura Contemporanea a Bologna Urban center Bologna
  • 2011 Italia Milano Milano works in progress, Spazio FMG 2011 Italia, Torino Stazione Futuro Esperienza Italiana mostra per i 150 anni dell’unita d’Italia
  • 2011 Londra Ecobuild 2010 Spagna II Bienal Habitat Futura 2010 Londra Ecobuild 2010 Italia Anthroposphera, forme della vità
  • 2010 USA Washington RETECH Renewable Energy Technology Conference and Exhibition 2010 SpagnaToward Another Architecture
  • 2010 China Universal exhibition Shanghai, Italian Pavillion 2009 Italia Il segno dei diseigner, Triennale Milano 
  • 2009 USA exhibition at Harvard University Graduate School of Design “Ecological Urbanism: Alternative and Sustainable Cities of the Future”.
  • 2009 Francia Cité de l’architecture et du Patrimoine, Habiter Ecologique, quelles architectures pour une ville durable, For a Sustainable Living.
  • 2009 ItaliaSaie Energia 2009 ItaliaPalermo. Energy of Architecture - una nuova relazione con l’ambiente
  • 2008 Italia Biennale di Venezia -Padiglione Italiano. La ‘Casa 100k’progetto di ricerca fa parte della mostre: ‘Housing Italy’.
  • 2008 Italia Architecture Contemporanea nelle Marche region. Ancona. Mostra degli progetti pubblicati nell giornale ‘Progetti’. iGuzzini headquarters building
  • 2008 Italia Biennale di Venezia. Padiglione Italiano. MCA ha esposto il progetto di ricerca’Casa 100k’, all’interno della mostra ‘L’Italia cerca Casa’
  • 2008 UK Sustainab.Italy - Contemporary Ecologies - Energies for Italian Architecture. Tre progetti esibiti durante il London Festival of Architecture
  • 2008 Italia UIA World Congress. Turin. Cinque progetti esibiti durante il Congresso
  • 2008 Italia Bologna. Mostra all’aperto nella piazza principale della città, PiazzaNettuno, sul progetto per la Nuova Sede del Comune di Bologna
  • 2008 Italia Energia dell’Architettura. Personale a Torino tra gli eventi del World Design Capital 2008. L’esibizione si è aperta con una ‘24 ore di architettura’ caratterizzata da dibattiti, workshop e musica.
  • 2008 Italia Made Expo, Milano. Architettura, Design, Edilizia. Evento Skin
  • 2007 Italia La Campionaria Fiera delle qualità Italiane, Milano. Esposizione di progetti connotati da ricerca di autonomia energetica capaci di generare scambi e relazioni virtuose tra ambiente costruito e ambiente naturale
  • 2007 Italia Ecomondo, Città Sostenibile: Percorso espositivo di progetti soluzioni, Case History e aree dimostrative, Rimini. Progetto esposto SIEEB Sino Italian Ecological and Energy Efficient Building
  • 2007 Italia, Stati Uniti, Belgio, Gran Bretagna, Irlanda Mostra Itinerante” New World Architecture “organizzata da The ChicagoAtheneum e European Centre for Architecture Art design and urban Studies. Progetto esposto e vincintore del premio “International Architecture Award 2007”: SIEEB Sino Italian Ecological and Energy Efficient Building
  • 2006 Francia Energy Performance+Architecture Award, Interclima +elec home&building, Parigi.
  • 2005 Cina Tradizione e Modernità. L’esperienza italiana nella riqualificazione architettonica e urbana. Nanjing Museum. 2005 Italia 3_2_1 Nuova Architettura in Giappone, Polonia e Italia
  • 2005 Italia Architetti Italiani under 50 presso La Triennale di Milano
  • 2005 Italia Works at MCA’ a Rovigo con il patrocinio del Comune di Rovigo e dell’Ordine degli Architetti della provincia di Rovigo.
  • 2005 Francia Pavilion de l’Arsenal Paris progetto Bergognone nella mostra ‘NouveauxParis – La ville et ses possibles’ 2004 Italia ‘Scala 1/1’ presso il centro culturale di Santa Maria della Pietà a Cremona
  • 2003 Italia Medaglia d’Oro all’Architettura Italiana La Triennale di Milano per il progetto Uffici per iGuzzini a Recanati
  • 2003 Belgio “From Futurism to the possible Future” Mario Cucinella e Uffici per iGuzzini a Recanati
  • 2003 Italia Biennale dell’Eco-efficenza II° edizione More With Less Mostra di lavori MCA intervento di Mario Cucinella Lingotto, Torino
  • 2003 Italia Intimacy Beyond Media 2003 partecipazione con il progetto “ e-Bo” alla mostra ABOUT CITIES all’interno del 7° Festival Internazionale di Architettura in Video
  • 2003 Italia “More with Less” presso il Castello del Valentino Torino
  • 2002 Italia “More With Less” presso la galleria SESV, Spazio Espositivo di Santa Verdiana di Firenze in collaborazione con l’Università degli Studi di Firenze e la Facoltà di Architettura.
  • 2002 Italia “More With Less” presso la sala Borsa della Camera di Commercio di Napoli in collaborazione con il Dipartimento di progettazione Urbana del Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II.
  • 2002 Italia “More With Less” presso la Libreria Rinascita ad Ascoli Piceno in collaborazione con l’Ordine degli Architetti di Ascoli Piceno, la Facoltà di Architettura ed il Centro Studi di Architettura di Ascoli Piceno.
  • 2002 Irlanda “More With Less” presso la RIAI, Royal Institue of the Architects of Ireland.
  • 2002 Francia ‘Les sommets de la terre’, Fédération Française du Bâtiment, progetto iGuzzini e Joule III.
  • 2002 Italia Mostra durante il Salone del Mobile del progetto per Bergognone 53 Milano
  • 2001 Francia “More With Less” presso la Galerie d’Architecture a Parigi.
  • 2000 Italia Cuore Mostra, SAIE Salone Internazionale Mostre dell’Industrializzazione Edilizia, Bologna
  • 2000 UK RIBA, Londra – Equinox 2000 International conference on Sustainable Development - Esposizione del progetto per la sede centrale della iGuzzini Illuminazione a Recanati.
  • 1999 Italia Museo di Architettura, Università di Ferrara - Mostra dei progetti.
  • 1999 Italia Eurosolar, Roma – Mostra dei progetti
  • 1997 Italia SAIE 97, Bologna - Mostra dei progetti recenti nello spazio NuovoAmbiente.
  • 1997 Italia Riabitat 97, Genova - Mostra di progetti.
  • 1994 Stati Uniti U.I.A. World Congress, a Chicago.Seattle Symposium, a Seattle.

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jobs in MCA

MCA offers the opportunity to work on important projects both nationally and internationally. Anyone interested in working with us may submit an application to MCA. Please send your CV and work portfolio to the following email address:


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We are currently seeking experienced Interior Designers to join our team.

For more info:


Mario Cucinella Architects srl

via F. Flora 6 - 40129 Bologna - Italy

tel +39 051 6313381

fax +39 051 6313316



Mario Cucinella Studio

584 Broadway #1201, New York, NY 10012, USA

T +1 212-431-9191

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