CONVERSATION

Piermattia Cribiori

The Diary of Piermattia Cribiori, Architect & partner at Atelierzero, MM Award 2023 juror member. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary, that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here

Diary of: @atelierzero

Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
1. What would you give importance to if you had to draw up an AtelierZero manifesto? How is the way in which people interact with their homes evolving?

Authentic design: We believe that architecture should be authentic and represent the character and personality of the clients, as well as the location of the project. We strive to create customised designs that are true to our client’s needs and the context in which we work.

Natural materials: We are committed to working with natural materials such as wood, marble, stone and concrete, as we believe they convey a feeling of warmth, comfort, quality and uniqueness. Moreover, these materials are sustainable and durable, which means that our designs will be long-lasting.

Experimentation: We are passionate about experimentation and are always looking to explore new techniques and materials.

Architectural approach: We are not decorators but architects. Our approach to design is architectural, and we see every project as an opportunity to create meaningful and functional design. We care about the way spaces interact with each other and with the people who use them.

Collaboration: We believe that collaboration is fundamental to creating good design. We work closely with our clients and collaborators to ensure that every aspect of the project is realised with the utmost attention to detail and customer service.

Sustainability: We are committed to creating sustainable designs that are long-lasting, environmentally friendly and healthy for people. We seek to use sustainable materials, reduce the environmental impact of our designs, and promote people’s health and well-being through design.

Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
2. What are the macro-trends in contemporary interior design that an architect should take into account in his or her design work?

Sustainability: sustainable interior design has become a central theme, with the use of natural and recyclable materials and the reduction of energy consumption.

Customisation: customers are increasingly looking for solutions that reflect their personal style and functional needs.

Technology: technology is increasingly present in home interiors, with solutions for home automation, intelligent lighting and energy management.

Connectivity and flexibility: the connection between indoor and outdoor spaces is increasingly important, with the use of sliding walls, panoramic windows and direct access to the garden or balcony.

Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
3. Have you ever entered an environment and felt uncomfortable? What is the aspect of an interior that most disturb you? How do you pay attention to this aspect in your designs?

Yes, it has happened that I have entered environments that have caused me discomfort, often due to a bad colour scheme or wrong arrangement of elements within the space. Also, environments that are too chaotic or over-decorated without any intention or idea to hold it all together can be disturbing to my perception.

In our work, we pay a lot of attention to the overall harmony of the room and the right combination of colours, materials and shapes, trying to create a comfortable and cosy atmosphere. We also try to avoid superfluous or overly elaborate details, focusing on functionality and simplicity of form. Finally, we take care to create well-organised and rational spaces where each element is positioned carefully and functionally.

Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
4. Construction or reconstruction: what relationship do you have with the old? What elements fascinate you most? Which project represents this relationship particularly well? 

The elements that fascinate me most in old buildings are their architecture and the history they contain, such as the materials used and the shapes and proportions of the spaces. In particular, I like to try to maintain and enhance the original architectural details of the building, such as the decorated cornices, flooring and original window frames.

One project in which we have tried to enhance the relationship between the old and the new is All’Arco. Still, if I have to think of a project that best represents this concept, I think of the great masters of architecture, such as Carlo Scarpa and the work done for the Castelvecchio museum in Verona (Italy).

Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
5. From the box to the content, you often also design some furniture to be placed in your projects. What aspects of this dual scale fascinate you most? Is there a piece of furniture in particular that you would like to design?

Designing the furniture in parallel with the project allows you to create a cohesive and integrated experience for the users of the space. Moreover, working on both scales allows you to consider every detail and ensure the utmost care in the design.

There is no particular piece of furniture that is more appealing than others, as each piece of furniture presents its own challenges and complexities. The important thing is to understand how each piece fits into the overall design and how it can contribute to creating the desired atmosphere in the space.

6. Your website has a section dedicated to the Library. Can you tell us about it? What is the importance of image in your work? How is your relationship with visual content evolving?

Photographs of realised projects play a fundamental role, as it is through these that we can present our work. However, it is important to emphasise that these are only a small part of the whole process. Behind each image is a long process of research, conceptual development, design, confrontation and even confrontation.

The Library section is a collection of images, sketches, drawings and plans that represent part of the underlying research and conception process. This space allows us to show visitors our way of working and our attention to detail, as well as to present projects that may not have been realised or are still under development.

Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
7. You have worked for the architectural firm Kengo Kuma and Associates in Tokyo. Which design forms have enriched you most from that experience?

More than forms, I would talk about the approach and the importance of conceptual coherence. Architecture is a form of communication between spaces and the people who inhabit them: every project must start from a solid and clear idea, a concept that becomes the basis for the design. It is crucial that every element designed, every detail, every material or colour, is in tune with this concept to create a coherent and harmonious sensory experience.

8. What is your relationship with your home? In it, what is the environment in which you feel most yourself? Is there a ritual linked to your home that makes you feel particularly good?

My house was one of my first approaches to interior architecture, and it served a bit as a testing ground for experimenting with details, materials, and dimensions. I believe that the home is never finished but a dynamic space that can evolve and change with us, and I must say that in its current state, each room, in its way, makes me feel myself.

I don’t think I have a particular ritual, but I do like to fantasise about looking out of the window, whether it’s the quiet of the courtyard sitting at the table or the whizzing of cars from the bed.

Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori
9. As an MM Award judge, what do you expect? What aspects of young designers intrigue you most?

I expect to be confronted with new ideas and solutions that arise from a different generational approach. The aspect that intrigues me the most is creativity, understood as the ability to think outside the box in order to come up with innovative ideas. Curiosity, i.e. the desire and ability to discover and explore topics in-depth and consistency.

10. What is an object in your home that you would never give up? What is the memory associated with it? Would you send us a photo taken by you?

If I’m honest, I like to have primarily functional objects, and I don’t have anything I couldn’t give up. However, a vase we picked up on a trip to South Africa from a local artist always catches my attention and, in its way, brings me back to a beautiful place.

Piermattia Cribiori
Courtesy by Pier Mattia Cribiori

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