The Future Is a Journey to the Past. Ten Stories About Architecture

“Where does our ability to survive come from? Plants and animals have the same instinct. Nature has created a system, actually, an ecosystem with marvelous shapes and colors and incredible biodiversity. We have, in part, lost all of this, generating an irreversible change in our planet. The question is whether we can continue to live this way, or whether we should just take what’s good and throw the rest away, so that we can enter a new era.” Coming-of-age journeys leave an indelible mark on one’s personality. Not only do they literally shape it, but they remain the subject of constant thought, even after many years have gone by. According to Joseph Conrad, who spent his entire life sublimating his youthful sea voyages in his novels, “when we begin to meditate on the meaning of our own past it seems to fill all the world in its profundity and its magnitude.” In this spirit, after decades spent sensitizing his own field of work to themes concerning people’s respect for nature, Mario ...

“Where does our ability to survive come from? Plants and animals have the same instinct. Nature has created a system, actually, an ecosystem with marvelous shapes and colors and incredible biodiversity. We have, in part, lost all of this, generating an irreversible change in our planet. The question is whether we can continue to live this way, or whether we should just take what’s good and throw the rest away, so that we can enter a new era.” Coming-of-age journeys leave an indelible mark on one’s personality. Not only do they literally shape it, but they remain the subject of constant thought, even after many years have gone by. According to Joseph Conrad, who spent his entire life sublimating his youthful sea voyages in his novels, “when we begin to meditate on the meaning of our own past it seems to fill all the world in its profundity and its magnitude.” In this spirit, after decades spent sensitizing his own field of work to themes concerning people’s respect for nature, Mario Cucinella has collected his memories of ten journeys to cities and other places. Each one of them provided him with food for thought that was neither exotic nor “stylistic,” but rather pragmatically environmental, and helped him to reflect on the rational exploitation of available energy resources – a common practice in the vernacular traditions of every culture, from Iran to China, and from Maghreb to Ireland. These ten stories about architecture project us forward. They are a taking of the helm of a cultural line that begins with Le Corbusier – who discovered modernity in the white cities of the Mediterranean – and crosses the twentieth century, from Giuseppe Pagano to Bernard Rudofsky to Giancarlo De Carlo to Reyner Banham, their legacy summed up in the invitation to learn from spontaneous architecture. Thus Cucinella looks at prehistorical houses excavated in the desert, ancient Syrian hospitals, underground Indian palaces, the archaic cities of wind in Cappadocia and Pakistan: “Not nostalgic tales, but the discovery of a past in which to seek lots of information that can help us in our journey to the future.”

Author: Mario Cucinella
Year: 2021
Publisher: Quodlibet

Building Green Futures

Edited by Anna Mainoli with a conversation with Stefano Mancuso

With this collection of the latest projects and most representative architectural designs by Mario Cucinella Architects, the book investigates possible solutions that architecture can provide in answer to the global challenges in the present and near future. Through these works, and the research carried out by one of Italy’s foremost architects, who has always focussed on building sustainability, Building Green Futures presents an important reflection on some of the crucial questions regarding urban development all over the world. There are two key issues to address these issues: the first deals with the relationships with the past and the constructive strategies man has adopted in every latitude, drawing on the great capacity for adaptation and knowledge that we will need to face the challenges of our era. But Cucinella urges us to go even further, directing his research towards the pla...

Edited by Anna Mainoli with a conversation with Stefano Mancuso

With this collection of the latest projects and most representative architectural designs by Mario Cucinella Architects, the book investigates possible solutions that architecture can provide in answer to the global challenges in the present and near future. Through these works, and the research carried out by one of Italy’s foremost architects, who has always focussed on building sustainability, Building Green Futures presents an important reflection on some of the crucial questions regarding urban development all over the world. There are two key issues to address these issues: the first deals with the relationships with the past and the constructive strategies man has adopted in every latitude, drawing on the great capacity for adaptation and knowledge that we will need to face the challenges of our era. But Cucinella urges us to go even further, directing his research towards the plant world, the second important field of investigation developed in this book, in order to discover similarities and draw inspiration for a future that is coherent with the climate and the environment.

Like buildings, plants do not travel, but over centuries they have developed a huge capacity for adapting themselves to every context and the resources available. Thanks to the creativity of their designers, buildings of the past were also able to adapt by using resources like the wind, sun, rain and local materials. Despite technological development, these aspects are all ingredients that remain a renewable constant today.

A voyage towards a future that comes from afar, from a past that crosses a range of latitudes, climates, cultures, and technical capacity developed by mankind over time: on this way the book explains the concept of projects by Mario Cucinella Architects, new forms of architecture, that express empathy with climate, place, history and the communities they represent, presented in this publication in the form of a metaphorical reading linking the plant world and architecture.

Each project is described through images, drawings, and in-depth analysis that provide different levels of interpretation.

Author: Mario Cucinella Architects
Year: 2021
Publisher: Forma Edizioni

Arcipelago Italia. Projects for the future of the Country’s interior territories

Catalogue of the Italian Pavilion at the 2018 Architecture Biennale

Arcipelago Italia is the theme of the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2018. It is an idea that shifts architecture’s attention away from the major cities and over to the physical space of our country where, even in the remotest of times, communities are historically expressed in a different relationship between urban dimension and territory.

These territories are spatially and temporally distant from the large urban areas, and they possess an inestimable cultural heritage, so that Italy is identified as an «urban space in the Mediterranean». The heterogeneous cultural vastness of these territories, reflected in the diversification of their landscape, together with a vast territorial expanse and their distance from essential services, has encouraged us to consider their revival as a strategic theme for Italy as a whole. Arcipelago Italia is a manifesto whose goal ...

Catalogue of the Italian Pavilion at the 2018 Architecture Biennale

Arcipelago Italia is the theme of the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2018. It is an idea that shifts architecture’s attention away from the major cities and over to the physical space of our country where, even in the remotest of times, communities are historically expressed in a different relationship between urban dimension and territory.

These territories are spatially and temporally distant from the large urban areas, and they possess an inestimable cultural heritage, so that Italy is identified as an «urban space in the Mediterranean». The heterogeneous cultural vastness of these territories, reflected in the diversification of their landscape, together with a vast territorial expanse and their distance from essential services, has encouraged us to consider their revival as a strategic theme for Italy as a whole. Arcipelago Italia is a manifesto whose goal is to indicate possible paths to be undertaken, aimed at bestowing value and importance on architecture. This catalogue will help visitors get to know our country better. Though the focus is on the most invisible, scarred areas of the country, readers will clearly see that these are also the areas that are the richest in potential and beauty. Italy’s most extensive supply of oxygen, the places where small and large cities were born, crossed by centuries of stories, paths, people, and architecture. We will discover the people and the way they manage spaces, the cultural vivacity and the efforts made by many communities to stay within their own towns. One last question we shall try to answer: what does the future hold for these territories?

Curatore: Mario Cucinella
Anno: 2018
Publisher: Quodlibet

Green Architecture

Establishing a deep connection with the climate, culture and natural environment of a place is a process that seems to Italian architect Mario Cucinella to be much closer to the complexity of nature and less like mechanical artifice. Together with his office, MCA, Cucinella researches and conceives architectural and industrial design projects using innovative technologies in an effort to promote environmental sustainability, ethics and a positive social impact. This monograph introduces his activities in the growing movement for sustainability with detailed profiles of more than 25 exemplary projects, including Beijing’s SIEEB building and the Bologna Civic Offices.

Author: Mario Cucinella Architects
Year: 2013
Publisher: ‎Equal Books

Mario Cucinella. Works at MCA. Buildings and projects

Mario Cucinella is one of the most appreciated architects, and the 21 projects chosen for this monograph on his work and his studio, MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects, include all his completed works, those under construction and a selection of projects in progress. His work is distinguished by its quality. Presenting Cucinella’s projects as a work-in-progress rather than a list of individual buildings, the book highlights his experimental approach and focuses on the technical characteristics of his architecture.

Author: Mario Cucinella Architects
Year: 2004
Publisher: ‎Centauro

More with Less - MCA Mario Cucinella Architects

“Architecture is a difficult profession – says Mario Cucinella – and requires slowness. In a world that associates quality with speed, our profession is running against the prevailing current. This slowness is akin to that of a marathon runner who, though moving, passes through different phases before reaching the finishing line. It requires patience. It is a profession that one learns by doing, by realising one’s projects.”

Done in collaboration with SESV Spazio Espositivo di Santa Verdiana, this volume is the catalogue of an exhibition which from 2000 onwards has been hosted in turn by, amongst others, the SAIE in Bologna, La Galerie d’Architecture in Paris and The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, Dublin. Includes the essays “Creative empathy. The productive landscape of architecture” by John Olley and “Integrated design or the art of both/and” by Susannah Hagan, and an interview by Marco Brizzi with Mario Cucinella.

Mario Cucinella founded MCA Mario Cuc...

“Architecture is a difficult profession – says Mario Cucinella – and requires slowness. In a world that associates quality with speed, our profession is running against the prevailing current. This slowness is akin to that of a marathon runner who, though moving, passes through different phases before reaching the finishing line. It requires patience. It is a profession that one learns by doing, by realising one’s projects.”

Done in collaboration with SESV Spazio Espositivo di Santa Verdiana, this volume is the catalogue of an exhibition which from 2000 onwards has been hosted in turn by, amongst others, the SAIE in Bologna, La Galerie d’Architecture in Paris and The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, Dublin. Includes the essays “Creative empathy. The productive landscape of architecture” by John Olley and “Integrated design or the art of both/and” by Susannah Hagan, and an interview by Marco Brizzi with Mario Cucinella.

Mario Cucinella founded MCA Mario Cucinella Architects in Paris in 1992. He is an internationally recognised architect and product designer and has won many competitions and awards. Most recently he was awarded the prestigious Förderungspreis for Architecture by the Akademie der Künste of Berlin. He is actively involved in education teaching technology studio at Ferrara University and lecturing regularly on his work in schools of Architecture around Europe. With his associate, architect Elizabeth Francis, he opened a second office, MCA Integrated Design, in Bologna, Italy, in 1999.

Author: Mario Cucinella Architects
Year: 2002
Publisher: ‎Mandragora

Copyright 2022 MCA.