The humanitarian side of architecture at the biennale of Venice
A passion for imaginary worlds, arts and design which turn into reality. Aerospace and naval projects, humanitarian structures created all over the world, the whole made by Arturo Vittori, a young architect who grew in Bomarzo, in the province of Viterbo, and managed to express his creative power worldwide. His projects are exhibited at the MOMA in New York and he is currently showing the latest version of an important work he made at the Biennale of Architecture of Venice, which he is by now familiar with. It is indeed his third participation.
Where did your passion for architecture come from?
It started as a child, from what I have always loved: imagining colored and fictional worlds. Later, after studying, I was able to rely on creativity to become an architect and turn ideas into real structures. I grew up in this sector, my father was indeed a construction surveyor and I was often with him at the construction site, a place which I have always felt as familiar.
You are now a famous architect: how did you start such a wonderful career?
After completing university, I started to work in an atelier in Paris, where I could focus on important and international projects and work together with businesses in the aerospace and naval sector.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Nature has always inspired me, it shows us, indeed, functional and perfect solutions. Just by observing what surrounds us, we can find ideas on how to plan in the correct way.
Is there a work you are particularly attached to?
Definitely “Desert Seal”, a tent for a single person designed for the desert; a small project, which is really important to me, since it is the result of a partnership with the European Space Agency aimed at creating a terrestrial structure based on aerospace technologies. The projects was awarded several times and is now exhibited at the MoMA in New York. It is the work which made me famous worldwide. Anyway, I am always attached to all my projects, maybe even more to those which are still to be realized.
Then there is Warka Water, another great project you designed…
Indeed, this project is part of another current of works dedicated to humanitarian projects, which are designed to solve though situations such as those in Africa. Warka Water is a tower which collects water from the air to make it drinkable and creates, at the same time, an illuminated area under the structure; both aspects are very important to a community living in remote areas, with no infrastructures, electricity and water.
Where was this project made?
I designed it in Bomarzo, in my atelier, as a prototype. Then the pilot project was implemented one year ago in Ethiopia. We are currently working in different continents such as South American and Asia, both in need of Warka Water.
And now the fifteenth Edition of the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice.
This is the third time I participate in the Biennale of Architecture and at the 2016 edition I will be there with my Warka Water project, with its latest version. I am very much familiar with the Biennale, every time it is an important occasion to meet colleagues and to show your works at an international level.
I am working on the Warka House, a version of the Warka project concerning emergency houses or houses in difficult contexts such as nomad or refugees camps. Such structures can be easily assembled and disassembled, are lightweight, though able to produce, autonomously, energy and water, without needing further infrastructures. These structures can be defined functional houses, indeed they make the life of these people more decent and dignified.
You work in Bomarzo and contribute to international projects. How can you bridge these two worlds?
I think that, nowadays, thanks to the dislocation of functions through the internet and thanks to transportations, which are faster and faster, we can feel “citizens of the world” and work from whatever location. So it is not important where you live or where you work. My office is indeed always with me, in my suitcase and in my computer.
What advice would you give to young people, who believe, as you did, in a creative project?
They should always believe in their ideas and not let difficulties discourage them.