Piano Lontano

Luis Fernández-Galiano   /  Source:  El País

He gets hundreds of offers a year, but accepts only three or four. “A project lasts an average of five years, and it is impossible to personally tackle more than twenty at a time”. In his Genoa studio at Punta Nave, each one of the twenty works is held by a pin on the wall across his desk, where sketches, drawings, and working details are superposed on one another to give the architect an abbreviated panorama of how the project is progressing. When not traveling to check on job sites, Renzo Piano divides his time between his Paris and Genoa studios, two offices reigned by a luminous order and a contained scale – neither employing more than 50 persons – that make it possible to maintain the family atmosphere and close contact with materials characterizing a studio that chose to call itself Building Workshop, and where computers and pencils share the desk with tools and machines used for making prototypes and models. Piano has not let success distort his artisan work method, refusing to expand, declining most commissions or competition invitations, rejecting offers to teach outside of the studio, and limiting his public appearances to two or three a year, these almost always in connection to exhibitions of his work...[+]

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