Pietro Carlo Pellegrini - ArchiTALKS - masterclass - ISPLORA

Trailer Building on the built environment

Not eligible for AIA CES Credits

The masterclass discusses the design vision of the architect Pietro Carlo Pellegrini through the practice of “building on the built”, the concept of reuse and restoration through a thoughtful and detailed project.

The lesson starts with some biographical notes and the work experience of Pietro Carlo Pellegrini. His production is influenced by multiple suggestions: from history to the Tuscan landscape, passing through neorealism in cinema, theater, and stage design. Distinctive architectural references such as the interventions in Pisa designed by Massimo Carmassi, or the recovery works of “masters” such as Gardella, Albini, Canali, and Scarpa, outline his interpretation and implementation methods.

The expression “building on the built” is the cornerstone of Pellegrini's research and production, and is charged with a plurality of meanings. It is not only intended as recovering or grafting the existing but as the setting of a dialogue with the context, with history and with the work of others. It is the case also for new constructions.

Beauty, combined with functionality, is the objective and raison d'être of a reasoned design. The result overshadows the authorship of the work in favor of an adaptive methodological approach, characterized by a deep knowledge of the building, materials, construction process, context, and history. Thus, the intervention has existing “constraints”.

The design survey addressed by Pellegrini in the lesson shows how Lucca means home but also “gym” for its design, thanks to the Cathedral Museum project or the interventions for the Monastery of Santa Gemma. Places for “meditating” intersect with those of “exhibiting” and “living” through the examples of the Museo del Fumetto, the Giuseppe Lazzareschi Foundation, the Garibaldi Memorial in Caprera, the Ex Fornace Piva in Riccione, the convent of San Domenico in Canicattì and the many residential interventions in Lucca.

If on the one hand, an architectural practice based on reuse emerges, on the other, it appears that the ability to listen is an essential provision to learn and improve one's approach to design. Architecture is here intended as a “game”, but a serious game: a profession that in the future should increasingly solve existing problems related to the themes of reconstruction, immigration, and the environment.

Educational objectives

  • Get to know the professional experience of the architect Pietro Carlo Pellegrini, exploring in particular the references that influence his architectural production and outline his design methodology: cinema and theater but also references like Albini, Gardella, Canali and Scarpa
  • Deepen the meanings and declination of the expression “building on the built” not only in terms of architectural reuse, but also in new construction projects
  • Learning the tools for an intervention that wants to relate to the built environment, through a meticulous research in terms of artifacts’ history and context, combined with a deep knowledge of materials, their properties and their yield
  • Deepen Pellegrini’s approach to reuse through the narration of some exemplary design interventions related to the exhibition, meditative and residential spaces carried out during his professional career: for example, the Museum of the Cathedral of San Martino, the interventions at the Monastery of Santa Gemma or the Lucchese residences


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