Marcello Bozzarelli, architect in Paris
Marcello Bozzarelli speaking
What does it mean to be an Italian architect and live in Paris?
Paris is the point where professionals and creators from all over the world meet.
In Italy, I trained as an architect in a creative environment, where I was able to meet people with immense expertise in construction and production.
In Paris, now, I am able to draw on the know-how I built up at that time to work in an international environment where there is great demand for the knowledge that only a few places, such as Italy, are able to supply.
So living in a place like this means combining my professional background with international creativity and extending my knowledge by working with people from other professionals on major projects where the architect’s design input is considered to be of vital importance.
A few brief comments on the architecture of the Ville Lumière.
Paris. A city that is not in awe of its history, meaning that it is ready to welcome works of contemporary architecture that ensure it is always modern and in the centre of the world stage. When you fly in by plane, the city looks like a monochrome spread of buildings, subdivided by wide, straight roads and large buildings whose architecture comes from different worlds. Every era has left its mark, starting from Haussmann’s redevelopment, the innovations made by the universal exhibitions, the Government projects implemented by Mitterand and the daring buildings of private institutions, so the historic buildings are juxtaposed with eclectic architecture, modernist buildings, contemporary projects by “archistars” and parks and urban regeneration projects intended to ensure a good quality of life throughout the city. Of them all, the Musée du Quai Branly has the ability and authority to reflect this courage to the full. The French flair for landscape and architectural design come together to create a contemporary space immersed in a context which is already very much consolidated: the apparently spontaneous greenery of the garden merges with the shapes, volumes, colours and materials of contemporary architecture to interact with the elegant, monochrome Nineteenth and Twentieth Century stone buildings, down to the majestic Tour Eiffel, which protects and promotes architectural creativity and experimentation virtually regardless of what goes on at its feet.
Your point of view on the M&O exhibition which is currently running , today is the last day; have you been struck by anything new in particular?
I came from Italy to attend several editions of the M&O, because I have always considered it an essential event for an architect, especially anyone working in interior design. I received a lot of visits from industry players at my office in the weeks running up to the exhibition. All the appointments arranged were always fixed for Avant or Après the fair. In other words, they came to find out what we needed for our projects, to enable them to check out the possible alternatives on offer from the various exhibitors at the fair, and then come back to us with the options available. I think that for an architect, this is a major advantage and a luxury only those who work in Paris can afford. Not to mention the entire system of events, vernissages and exhibitions that focus on the fair and involve all the city’s art and design centres.
M&O is a wide-ranging fair that brings together the French decorative tradition, skilled craftsmen, contemporary design and the latest trends, sourced from the sector’s emerging areas.
As in previous years, I thought some of the products displayed by producers from Brazil, Africa and South East Asia were very interesting. In my projects, I am always on the look-out for something new, so that every space is always different. Within contemporary architecture, I like combining art and design from different cultures and eras, so I am always attracted and struck by the things that appear to be most distant from my own “world”.