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Architect Fuksas turns 80 with sights set on the future

Architect Fuksas turns 80 with sights set on the future

'I'm a nomad, my country is the world,' he tells ANSA

ROME, 08 January 2024, 15:19

ANSA Editorial




The internationally renowned Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas turns 80 on Tuesday with more than 600 completed projects to his name, others underway and his eyes firmly planted on the future.
    "I'm a nomad, my country is the world," he tells ANSA in a telephone interview from his Rome-based studio led together with his architect wife Doriana, but which also has branches in France, China and Saudi Arabia.
    "What am I missing? Maybe just designing a whole city, but I'm working on it," he added. The Rome-born 'archistar' of Lithuanian descent and La Sapienza graduate is currently participating in The Line, a futuristic 'vertical' city in Saudi Arabia stretching 170 km from the mountainous province of Tabuk across desert valleys to the Red Sea.
    His eclectic portfolio includes residential buildings, towers, skyscrapers, shopping centres, cultural and religious spaces, museums, airports, schools, designed and built all over the world.
    In Italy he is perhaps best known for the new trade fair centre in Milan and the congress centre known as 'The Cloud' in Rome's southern EUR district.
    Each project is accompanied by a memory, an anecdote, a film quote - "To make good architecture you have to go and see good films," he told ANSA - an intuition often had years previously and rooted in ideas of light, emotion, freedom, the future, community.
    "But if I am asked what my favourite project is, I answer that it is the one still to come, because architects never reckon with the past, they reckon with the future," he said, pointing to the challenges presented by collective living and globalisation, migration, the housing emergency, the "sublime" chaos of the new megacities, the landscape, health and ethics, to quote the title he chose in 2000 for his architecture biennial "Cities: Less Aesthetics, More Ethics".
    Italy, Fuksas insists, needs "a Marshall plan for housing".
    "We must demolish and rebuild, we must have courage and intelligence," he said.
    However, for now his attention is focused on The Line, with a commission to create three modules in the city designed to accommodate nine million people by 2030.
    It is an "extraordinary idea, a vertical city full of services and greenery, with no cars and no traffic, with parks built as high as 100 m," he enthused.
    His is the only Italian firm and his wife Doriana the only female architect involved in the project.


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