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Monica Tricario, you represent the feminine touch of one of the most sophisticated Italian architectural studies, in your opinion what is the main contribution you bring as a female architect to the Studio?

Architecture, like many other professions, is currently a profession that is becoming less masculine. Being an architect is a way of viewing things, irrespective of the fact you are a woman or a man. With regard to our Studio that consists of 4 founding partners, three of which are men, perhaps my biggest contribution is that of bringing cohesion to the group, contributing to the mediation between the ideas and personalities of everyone concerned.

Is there a female architect that inspires you?

I take inspiration from brave architects, regardless of the fact they are a men or women. Among the women, I admire Kazuyo Sejima the most.

With the Quattro Corti Business Centre in St. Petersburg, were you able to compare with the historic fabric of a Russian city with the work of different Italian architects. How did you approach the project?

Our project began with particular attention to the context and urban traditions of the city, without however renouncing a modern architectural language. Therefore stemming from the desire to bring contemporary European architecture into a context of strong historic connotation.
The building is called Quattro Corti, which means Four Court, since it features four areas, which give light to the internal areas. The transparent facades all consist of tinted, mirrored glass panels of different colours gold, green, blue and white â' inspired by the colours of the historic buildings of St. Petersburg. The glass panels have different angles and rotate as regards the line of the facade; resulting in evocative fragments of the reflections in the glass and a kaleidoscope effect, which comes alive with the varying daylight. The areas have been designed as meeting places open to public business activities, artistic installations and exhibitions.
Quattro Corti is the first project constructed in St. Petersburg by foreign architects following the fall of the Berlin wall. Therefore, weâ're extremely happy to have played a part in “renewing“ the tradition of Italian architecture in this city.

For the construction of this building, you entrusted the work to a pool of companies both Italian and Russian, what were the principles used in selecting them? Did it work?

In this sense the Quattro Corti project was a very interesting “pilot experience“ for us, since we selected the companies in collaboration with the client, based on the specific professional expertise of each company. The Russian companies proved highly skilled as regards concrete, structures, metal elements, whereas the Italian companies were selected for the glass facade, stone coverings and interior furnishing. It was a synergy that gave first class results.

The main facade of the Bentini Headquarters has a completely different key stylistic feature, perhaps more Mediterranean?

Our projects always begin with an in-depth analysis of the location in which they are inserted, the current weather conditions, but also the culture, art and traditions of a particular context, the materials used historically for the architecture of the location.
The result is always a project full of “contaminations“ and at the same time featuring a key stylistic feature that belongs to us and identifies us. In this case, the facade facing the street gives a distinctive and unique character to the building, and is realised by superimposing over the continuous glass facing of the offices a modular grid of angled solar filters that divide the facade into rectangular compartments of varying dimensions. This compositional solution makes the perception of the building a continually changing experience based on your position to the facade and the light, which during the day illuminates the building, modelling its volume with the shadows. The rear facade of the building is designed to maintain strong visual continuity with the surrounding countryside through a complete glass facade. The two facades are each different, but both characterised by a desire of openness towards the outside through the transparency.

C'Do you feel this project is more yours?

Our projects are always the result of collaboration, always the result of several voices and ideas, which at the final moment become one.
In the Studio, as well as us partners, there are around thirty associates originating from various parts of the world. We like to think that the union of different ideas and cultures is always an added value, that something extra that enriches the result of our work.

What are you currently working on?

In Milan weâ're near to closing an important construction site for a building of offices and shops in the Porta Nuova area of Milan, next to the three office towers designed by César Pelli. This is an architecture of sinuous and undulated forms capable of establishing a relationship with the context while standing out as a recognisable feature. The building plays with the contrast of its two main facades: the north facade that faces onto the plaza is a large, light, transparent glass front, which functions as a rigorous backdrop to the pedestrian area and the Gardens of Porta Nuova park. The south facade is enclosed by a sunscreen system. The continuity of the elevation, of about 140 metres, is enlivened by a system of internal courtyards with coloured windows, which penetrate the various levels of the building, bringing light to the different floors. Still in Milan, we have very recently concluded the new headquarters for Dolce&Gabbana, a series of boutiques in various parts of the world: New York, Las Vegas, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Also, weâ're currently overseeing the construction of a shopping centre on the outskirts of Moscow.

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