By Filippo Romeo — photos by Tina Ruisinger
Inside the city — p. 92
David Chipperfield, for the Rolex Mentor & Protégé philanthropic programme, opens up the doors of his Londonbased studio. To talk about the future of the city and his meeting with the young Swiss architect Simon Kretz We are in London, in the architecture studio of Sir David Chipperfield, to talk to one of the leading architects on the international scene about the future of living, or rather how the quality of our cities can be improved. The idea springs from a year of research conducted with the Swiss Simon Kretz, a young, up- and- coming architect and protagonist with Chipperfield in the latest edition of the Rolex Mentor & Protégé philanthropic programme. Chipperfield and Kretz compared two different urban cultures: the Swiss one, based on an approach that brings the influence of the city centre out to the suburbs, and London’s freer and more fragmentary one, which leaves plenty of decision making power to the investor. “In London, the hardest thing is succeeding in creating works that do not only aim to meet the needs of the client, but also to bring benefits to the citizens, regenerating the urban spaces”, explains Chipperfield. One example is the Elizabeth House project in South Bank: a volume with a number of layers made up of a structure suspended on concrete pillars. “We will remove volumes of the building to leave the area below free, creating a sort of covered square”. An example of how, by fighting against the restrictions of speculative urban planning, with determination and passion, we can design buildings made for the citizens.