2021 Festa dell’Architetto and winners of the Italian awards

Venice, Italy,


Venice hosted the Festa dell’Architetto 2021 on November 5. The Conference of the Orders of Architects, Planners, Landscape Architects and Conservationists in the Sala delle Colonne in Ca’ Giustinian, home of La Biennale di Venezia, concluded with a keynote address by architect Jette Cathrin Hopp of Snøhetta, president of the annual prize jury, and the presentation of the “Architetto/a Italiano/a 2021” and “Giovane Talento dell’Architettura italiana 2021” awards.

2021 Festa dell’Architetto and winners of the Italian awards
During the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, curated by architect Hashim Sarkis, the Sala delle Colonne in Ca’ Giustinian hosted the "Festa dell'Architetto 2021" and the Italian Conference of the Orders of Architects, Planners, Landscape Architects and Conservationists November 3 through 5. This important event for Italian architects returned to Venice after a brief parenthesis in Rome and the postponement of the 2020 edition as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the beautiful and fragile lagoon city, emblematic of our bond with the landscape around us and the undeniable need to address the challenges of the climate emergency, there was once again talk of the need in Italy for an "Architecture Law", the key theme of the 2021 Festa dell'Architetto. The event concluded on November 5 with presentation of the “ Architetto/a Italiano/a 2021” (Italian Architect of 2021) and “Giovane Talento dell’Architettura italiana 2021” (Young Talent in Italian Architecture of 2021) awards. The Italian initiative is held in the context of the New European Bauhaus, the cultural strategy adopted by Europe which, as underlined by Francesco Miceli, Chairman of Italy’s National Council of Architects, Planners, Landscape Architects and Conservationists, "aims to create inclusive, accessible spaces which are sustainable in environmental terms and in the more general terms of urban regeneration".

The 2021 Festa dell'Architetto jury, chaired by Jette Cathrin Hopp of Snøhetta, selected the winners of the main awards and honourable mentions out of more than 400 candidates.
Architetto Italiano 2021” and an honourable mention in the new construction category went to Ifdesign, the studio of architects Franco Tagliabue and Ida Origgi, for their "Laboratori e Centro Socio Educativo" (Workshops and Social-Educational Centre) in Erba (CO). The building designed for the non-profit association Noivoiloro was financed through private fundraising with maximum economy in the use of materials. The jury noted how: "The low-tech and radical approach of the project opens up to a difficult challenge that ifdesign solve in an exemplary way, succeeding in always using “matter” in a rational, intelligent and expressive way".
The winner of the award for “Giovane Talento dell’Architettura italiana” is a25architetti, the studio founded by brothers and architectural team Francesco and Paolo Manzoni, for Rifugio del Gelso (The Mulberry Refuge) in Montevecchia (LC): the repurposing of an old farm building conducted with "expert use of traditional materials and techniques applied in a contemporary manner", as noted by the jury, who sees it as setting "an example of valorisation of the landscape and the surrounding context", a project that brings the visitor closer to the values of rural life.

The jury also assigned three more honourable mentions:
in the "restoration and recovery" category: to MoDusArchitects, the studio of architects Matteo Scagnol and Sandy Attia, for the Accademia Cusanus in Bressanone (BZ), because their "cultured restoration" returns a work by Othmar Barth to the community, demonstrating respect for its original identity even while endowing it with a new social function.
In the "fittings or interior works" category: to Guicciardini & Magni Architetti for the restoration and visitor pathway of Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Pisa, a project of great effectiveness which “ enhances not only the exposed heritage, but also the host architectural context”.
In the "open spaces, infrastructure and landscape" category, to PBeB-Paolo Belloni Architetti, MBA and Partners, the studio of architects Paolo Belloni and Mario Bonicelli, for the Regeneration of Piazza XXV Aprile in Gorla Minore (VA), a project the jury describes as " an inspiring response to current challenges of public spaces and an encouraging example and alternative to common standards".

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of Festa dell'Architetto 2021

01,03 ifdesign, Laboratorio Centro Socio-Educativo - Erba (CO), photos by Andrea Martiradonna
02,04 a25architetti, il Rifuglio del gelso - Montevecchia (LC), photos by Marcello Mariana
05-06 MoDusArchitects, Accademia Cusanus - Bressanone (BZ) photos by Gustav Willeit
07-08 Guicciardini Magni Architects, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo di Pisa - photos by Mario Ciampi
09-10 PBeB-Paolo Belloni Architetti, MBA and Partners, Riqualificazione piazza XXV Aprile, Gorla Minore (VA) - photos by Alessandro Roncaglione


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