Opinion 

Abstract Texture

30/06/2000



Architecture is one of the few professions that still is – in the best artisan tradition – passed on from parents to their children. After finishing his studies in Zürich’s ETH, Valerio Olgiati (1958) of Chur had immediate professional experience working with his father, a local representative of the second-generation moderns. In 1988 the young Olgiati set up a practice of his own in Zürich, and from 1993 to 1995 he ran an office in Los Angeles, where in association with Frank Escher he developed an urban planning scheme for Beirut’s Souk quarter. This area of stores, workshops and warehouses had been completely destroyed in the war, and to revitalize it the architects proposed several types of cells stacked indiscriminately in horizontal and vertical directions along the perimeter of the original blocks, thereby retrieving the aggregative character of the urban structure as a labyrinth of narrow streets and covered passageways...
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