Interview CPSP New York winner team

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26 March, 2016
Interview CPSP New York winner team

Arquideas interviews Camilla Grillone and Chiara Lippi, winner team of our CPSP New York international competition...

1.- What convinced you to participate in our Central Park Summer Pavilion (CPSP) New York architecture competition? 

Firstly, Arquideas is one of the most famous platform for competitions among students and young architects. Moreover, it always propose themes which are really stimulating from a creative point of view but also really contemporary. During our Erasmus period we sow this competition and we immediately thought it would be an occasion to compare ourselves with many other international young architects. Furthermore, CPSP was a theme that gave both lots of freedom in terms of concept and ideas development but at the same time faced with a theme that would be real maybe in our future lives.

2.- Give us a brief description of your First Prize winning proposal...

The main tasks we decided to address were the relationship between the pavilion and the natural surrounding and the necessity to create an obligatory stop for both tourists and citizens. Regarding the first point, the number of lakes that are in Central Park attracted us and above all the biggest one, the Reservoir, which, in our opinion, is not so exploited by people. The project should connect both the idea of making something spectacular and unique and the idea of creating a sort of path inside the natural environment. Then we focused on how the pavilion should perform during the summer time, proposing a double program, able to provide the necessary restoration from the hot weather condition, while offering a proper venue for public cultural events. The result was the creation of a hole in the middle of the lake, our WATERHOLE, that could be filled with water or not depending on the case. Than the pavilion was connected to the benches with an almost invisible mirrored path that should firstly recall the idea of walking on the water and later create surprise in the visitor when he will find the hole or the swimming pool. The evocative reflection of the boardwalk should add more suggestion and intensity to the path, giving to the visitor a real idea of immersion inside the natural surroundings.  

3.- What is your opinion of architectural training in your country? How do you think it could be improved in terms of preparing students to become professionals? 

We both come from Italian universities and we think that our preparation is highly theoretical and respectful of the surrounding urban context. Our country, with such a richness in terms of history, culture and arts, coupled with a strong academic education, brought us to be more sensible towards the pre-existing urban condition, and the ancient architectural examples unconsciously inspired us in terms of typological and programmatic configuration . What perhaps is missing, is maybe an attention towards the development of practical skills. We think that, especially during master program, there is not enough space reserved to professional training experience and sometimes we arrive at the end of our study with not so much experience, compared to the knowledge that we have learnt.

4.- Tell us about your experience at Politecnico di Milano and Università di Genova...

CG: The Scuola Politecnica di Genova has given me the opportunity of knowing a strong cultural surrounding, related to the history of the city due also to the fact that it is located in the core of it. Thanks to its dimension, it creates a challenging environment but at the same time friendly, also offering different opportunities in many fields.

CL: Regarding the Politecnico di Milano, I think that it is one of the universities in Italy that more stimulates the students’ thought and increase the architectural discussions among the youngers. We work in a really challenging and thrilling environment, due to the variety of students, professors and guests coming from all over the world, which gives us a unique international profile. With the Politecnico I had the opportunity to study and travel in many different places and benefit of its multicultural feature, which really helps us in broadening our horizons and face professional world.

5.- How are you planning to focus your professional future?

CG: My plans for setting my professional future are make experimental researches on new technologies that can lead to design respecting the environment. In order to reach the aim I would like to travel for knowing the different cultures that are around me. I hope to have the opportunity of “literally” work with my own hands and build something that is useful for the others.

CL: At the begging I would like to have a practice in a quite well known office, possibly in a foreign country, in order to make a really formative experience for my future figure of architects. I would like to make this experience in offices, which face on international competitions in order to understand how it works in a more professional environment. Than, enriched by this experience, I would like to go on with my personal researches, maybe remaining linked to the academic world. Consequently, I would like to have the opportunity to settle down my own practice and try to face with many other international figures. 

6.- And finally, tell us what you think about your experience with Arquideas...

For us it was an amazing experience. For the first time, we had worked together and we really had pleasure in doing that. We met each other five months before, thanks to our Erasmus in Lyon and  in the end we decided to participate to a competition together, because the respect that we felt for each other. Then, we thought to Arquideas because it is a platform that really offers you the possibility to express your ideas and it also rewards your creativity and intelligence in proposing it. We enjoyed in do that and we were also excited because it was the first time that we worked alone, with nobody that could tell us if we were making good or not. We just followed our feelings and we decided to trust in each other. This has been one of the most important experience that we have ever had and we think that we will remember it forever. It is not easy to forget your first winning project and the beginning of such a good and unexpected collaboration.

Thank you and good luck!

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