From Italy to China, Marco creates new buildings
Marco Zuttioni from Gorizia, Italy, chose to be an architect because the profession combines functionality and art, allowing him to turn buildings of concrete into works of self-expression. After studying in Madrid and Venice, he now works at Archea, an Italian architecture design firm with branches in Italy, China and Dubai. Beijingers can find buildings designed by Zuttioni and Archea around town, including the disco club Tango. Zuttioni, who’s lived in the city since 2004, talked to students at the Canadian International School of Beijing about his passion for architecture and his favorite buildings in the world.
Kaori Hida, 8, Japan
Was it always your dream to become an architect?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a football player, but I was not good at it, so I switched to being an architect. Since I was young, I was into buildings. I liked historical architecture, so I decided to become an architect.
Jesse Lee Morgan, 8, Canada
How do you come up with designs?
It’s always different for every project. We try to explore new ideas that match the size of the area, the area’s surroundings and the city. It’s important to consider the city. If you build something in Italy, it would be totally different from something in China.
Ryan Ming, 9, Taiwan
How many buildings have you drawn?
A lot. Probably over 100 designs, but we’ve only built a few. It’s normal for most projects to remain on paper and never become reality, but we use the opportunity to do research and test several options before building the real ones.
Rafael Segre, 9, Argentina
What’s your favorite building in China?
Do you know the new CCTV building? It shows the future of China, and it’s very important. For an older one, maybe the Temple of Heaven – it’s a nice historical building.
Harry Choi, 10, Korea
How much time does it take to build an entire building?
It depends. In Italy, it can be two or three years from start to end. In China it might be just one year. In China, they’re faster than in Italy or Europe.
William Machowski, 9, USA
What is your favorite modern building from your country?
In Italy, there are several historical ones but not so many modern ones. In Milan, there is a tower made by a very important architect, Giò Ponti. It’s the Pirelli Tower and was made in the 1950s, but it looks very contemporary.
Talya Urhan, 9, Turkey
Would you prefer to live in an old-fashioned house?
No, I prefer to live in a contemporary villa.
Daisy Kim, 9, Korea
Do you live in one of your buildings?
No, no, they are too expensive.
Lucie Dupond, 9, France
How many years do you have to study to become an architect?
At least five years, but it can be eight years if you are not a good student. Architects have to think about the air conditioning, the light system and design many details. You have to be good at the technical aspects, the construction, the structure. You have to study a lot of stuff.
Ruby Lee, 9, Canada
Did you design the Water Cube?
No, no. If I did, I would not be here. I would be too famous to come here.
Tony Zhao, 9, Canada
What’s the best building you’ve built?
Well, we did this project in Beijing. It’s a disco club in Beijing called Tango. During the day, it looks like a black box, but at night, we used these lights so it looks like the stars and the moon.
Charlotte Bigaouette, 8, Canada
What materials do you use the most?
Steel, because it’s convenient, but in Italy we also use bricks because bricks are part of the traditional buildings there. Aluminum is cheaper and light, so we use that, too. We usually use concrete, steel, aluminum, bricks and stone.
William Machowski, 9, USA
What do you like about architecture?
When you start a project, you have an empty board. You can do whatever you want at the beginning, and then you have some rules about the structure, the size, the city’s rules. But in the beginning, you are free to do whatever you want. It’s a strong feeling for me.
Daisy Kim, 9, Korea
What kind of buildings do you design?
Several kinds of buildings, such as libraries, museums, discos. One project, a library, was made so the façade looked like books even thought it’s made of stone, because libraries store books.
Lynnette Mae Too, 9, Malaysia
What is your favorite building in the whole world?
Tour Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
David Xu, 9, Denmark
What about safety issues, like earthquakes?
That’s a very significant responsibility for the designer. Everybody in the building must be safe at every moment of the day. We have to work with our consultants, such as engineers to prevent any problem in the building during earthquake events. We have the materials and technologies to do that; we just need to use them properly.