New year, same Dreams!!!

Few days ago, I was listening to Aretha Franklin, with her emblemathic song, Think. She incredibly pushed me to get back to the net. Probably, becouse freedom is a huge and marvellous thing achivable by writing.

Anyway. Life is going on with all his obstacles, but they must be jumped over and over, even tough sometimes you want to make them explode (metaphorically speaking!). I wanted to start the new year in the mountains. In that environment I would love to live and practicing architecture, as I like to say, to be a “mountainee

r architect”. I do admire Peter Zumthor, not just becouse of his great works, full of feeling, charged with a sense of power, but I do admire him, becouse of the location of his atelier, in the middle of the mountain. Totally in touch with nature. Where you can be staring at her pureness and her fragility at once. I looked also at the work of other great architects, like Alvar Aalto, and his sensitivity towards nature and human beings. The Finnish architect, always amazed me about his way to use natural material, wood mainly, and makes them playing finely with light.

At the end of the day. Architecure and mountain are the real amazing combo, indeed.

Here some pics of the few days spent between Valle Po e Val Chisone, Piedmont. Also, some other are from Langhe area, explored with the best guide, my great friend Matteo.

Definitely, I will seriusly consider the chance to be a mountaineer architect. The freedom of dreaming!


Back to reality!!!

Tomorrow I start officially a new cycle of life experience, since my family and I decided to move for some action to Italy. I love architecture, it is air for my lungs, but also I always loved to make some experiences in others fields, such as working in a kind of cafè or something like that. Well, tomorrow I am going to test myself as a boucher/cooker/waiter, let’s see how it works. Meanwhile, I will try to keep designing a developing my architectural and interior design concepts, that you will find here on my blog. I also want to share with you some pictures I took during last month, as we decided to spent with my parents in South of Italy. This was to me, a kind of going back to the orgins to start again. A remainder about where I came from. Obviously, in some of the journays I had, I took with me my bike. The one I bought when I was studying architecture. A special one, for a special start.

Pictures are about Naples and Costiera Amalfitana and Calabria (Cirella).

Wooden water heater (boiler)

I always wonder about how much I am polluting by using a boiler, which works burning wood. Actually, I do feel bad when I look at the chimney, and the white smoke cloud desappears against the sky. But a couple of reflection need to be pointed out. First, I burn just waste wood, such as, branches that I cut off my trees in my garden, when I prune them. Also, when on site, lots of spare or useless timber, used as frame work, are left everywhere. I just pick them up, and take home. Secondly, I really think that gas, the ordinary natural fuel used to heat water, far to dangerous for our environment, as it is a no renovable natural resource. Third and last point, enonomy. Using waste wood in my boiler, I save quite some money. A gas tank, of 20ltrs, is reaching $400 mexican pesos, almost $20 american dollars. Considering the mexican economy, it actually is quite expensive. Before the wood water heater, we usually refuel the tank every two months. Currently, we are refuelling the gas tank every five o six months. Not bad at all!!! But still my feelings are there, fighting between pollution and family economy.

Earthquake semitemporary shelter

On 7h of September, 2017, a 8.2 degrees of Richter scale, shaked for a few seconds a large part of the state of Oaxaca, México. As I live here, I can tell you: it felt horrible. We didn’t have the time to realized what was happening. Everything started moving around me and you cannot do anything to arrest it. The feeling was: pure impotence. The most affected area, was the one next to the Pacific Ocean, in particular, the Istmo Región. Lots of people lost everything. And in this case, one of the first issue is housing those people their houses were badly damaged. I wanted to do something about it, but unfortunatly, in those circumstances, architects easly feel “super heros”. Everyone start to propose the best solución ever, for temporary or long term shelter. But, as usual, most of them are pushed by a strong ago. They want that pic that shows they are in. Yes, they are in, but in a completly messy organization. They don’t even think about planning. Strange word to them. They love to go towards nowhere. I wait for writing this post, becouse I wanted to see something clever coming up. And finally a great news, a huge architect landed to México, Shigeru Ban. A japanese architect with a great experience about post desaster shelters. So, I hope something relevant will be soon shown. Meanwhile, I want to post a quick proposal I developed for a friend, Jean De Marte, who asked me for an idea to use bamboo posts he bought. I tried to design a shelter that I like to call SEMITEMPORARY, as I think it could be upgraded on a medium or long period, based on the inhabitants economy. If someone want to use it, PLEASE DO AND IMPROVE IT.

#shelter #earthquake #bamboo #semitemporaryshelter #housing #oaxaca #antisismicshelter

Pizza/bread earth hoven

A dream come true!!! Or lets say, part of it!!! A month ago, I started building a small pizza hoven. As I am italian, I do usually need to eat a pizza for real. The one on which you can put everything you want, obviusly not saying pineapple, I am not a sinner. Well, after a month, finally we made it. I designed and built my hoven with just few materiales available at home. Such as: damaged bike components, earth from my garden, terracotta tiles and lime, that I use to keep in a big bidon under water. Rain made more difficult the precess, as the different layers of earth took more time to get dried. Moreover, the earth I used, has a big percentage of clay, that retains big amount of water, and once dried, many fissures appeared, so I need to fill them with a thin mortar of 1:1 earth lime. As the hoven door seemed too big, I redesigned it with a small bricks arch, and then I plastered it with a mortar 1:2 lime sand. You can apprecciate the final result from the pics. But let me tell you…Pizzas and bread were just so tasty!!! Make your hoven, it is funny and you will be free to prepare your own pizzas whenever you want. Buon appetito.

An informal lecture

Marco Antonio Aguirre Pliego, first of all a great friend, secondly, a great architect and teacher, who lives and works in Oaxaca de Juárez. I invited him to give a lecture to my students, about a project he worked on during his architectural studies at the UNAM, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, late in seventies. Basically, to him it was a chance for remembering, for my students, the oportunity for listening what it means thinking about architecture, creating a strong architectural concept and beliving in it. Trying to explain it using a proper vocabulary, which comunicate the feeling you have about it. And finally, the fascinating way to present a project, rigorously drawon by hand. Those greish tones, those letters printed by some kind of transfers, lend to a romantic idea of enjoying the design process. Thanks master MAAP.

Italy 2017

What a trip!!! No better excuse to move to Italy for a few weeks, than my brother’s wedding. July, one of the perfect month to enjoy my country. This year, probably too hot, but the Mediterranean Sea cool me down properly. As an alternative, you can choose a tasty iced white wine, lets say: a Prosecco. Done!!!

I felt very good getting back to my village, where I was born, Pomigliano D’Arco, Naples. Strange feelings. Everything look much bigger than I could remember. Staying at my granpa’s recently refurbished house, made me re-appreciate a simple aspect of life: sharing great time with family.

My brother. He gave a big step forward. He got merried in a wonderful scenario, a medival castel, next to Turin. Pushed by my curiosity, I dragged my uncle, to explore the building. But all of a sudden, a female old woman’s shout came out from a bed room next too us. We overpassed the limit…Sorry mam’.

The day after the wedding. In a strong hungover, I went to rescue my robust, but extrimely heavy bike. Time for a couple of ridings down the Turin’s hills, and we got back to Naples.

We set up quickly my parent’s carvan, and all together, with Martha, we drove to Parco Nacionale del Cilento. Simply one of the most beautiful place on earth. Look at the pictures. Ten days of eating and drinking, then swimming, eating and drinking, then riding, eating and drinking and finally sleeping. Places like Palinuro, Marina di Camerota, Porto Infreschi, San Severino and more, need to be visited once in life. And with a bike, you truly enjoy them.

Then to Naples again, but now we viseted some places where we used to go whene I was young: Lago Telese, Caserta Vecchia. But the cherry on top was the insurmountable Costiera Amalfitana.

Well, all great trips come to an end. It is time to get back to Mexico. I think it was one of the hardest leave from Italy. But some great things are coming up…and I will be back soon…that’s for sure!!!