Foros 2016: Baukuh

Pier Paolo Tamburelli, a member of the firm Baukuh and recently nominated for the prestigious Wheelwright Prize awarded by the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, will be giving a talk in the Foros 2016 cycle, “Origin”, organized by the School of Architecture at UIC Barcelona. Tamburelli will be reflecting on the idea that architecture can be public only if it has no content, if it simply contains whatever its users would like to bring inside it.

Pier Paolo Tamburelli
Pier Paolo Tamburelli
Pier Paolo Tamburelli is founder and member of the firm Baukuh and San Rocco, the prominent architecture magazine committed to architectural research that is now 12 issues into the 20 planned. In his lecture, Tamburelli will be talking about Baukuh’s particular vision of public architecture, by means of an analysis of one of its works: the House of Memory in Milan. This project employs a simple spatial layout, a box that contains and presents the memory of the people of Milan by means of its façades. For Tamburelli, this exercise endorses his theory of public spaces: “architecture [is] an abstract production of the concave, a careful calculation of a desireless receptacle of others’ desires, a humble development of a technology for giving precision to the memories of others.”

Baukuh is a firm based in Milan and Genoa, founded in 2004 by Paolo Carpi, Silvia Lupi, Vittorio Pizzigoni, Giacomo Summa, Andrea Zanderigo and Pier Paolo Tamburelli. Tamburelli has been nominated for the 2016 Wheelwright Prize, awarded by the Harvard GSD, a platform to promote new forms of research based on cross-cultural engagement, past winners of which include foremost names such as I. M. Pei, Paul Rudolph and Eliot Noyes, as well as José Ahedo, alumni of the School of Architecture at UIC Barcelona.

Among Baukuh architects featured projects, we can find works such as:

House of Memory

This house is an archive as well as an exhibition and conference space in Milan. It is the headquarter of five cultural associations whose aim is to preserve the memory of the conquest of freedom and democracy in Italy: the National Association of Former Deportees (A.N.E.D.), the National Association of Italian Partisans (A.N.P.I.), the National Association of Terrorism’s Victims (A.I.VI.TER.), the Association Piazza Fontana 12 December 1969 and the National Institute of Studies on the Italian Resistance Movement (I.N.S.M.L.I.). The building was completed in 2015, on the base of the project awarded first prize in an invited architecture competition organized in 2011. The new building is part of the recently transformed Porta Nuova area and is one of the elements of a network of new public spaces and facilities including the Headquarters of the Lombardy Region, the Riccardo Catella Foundation, the Art Incubator and the (soon to be completed) Park of the “Library of Trees”.

The Italian Pavillion

The main element that the pavilion exhibits at the 2010 Shanghai Expo is the pavilion itself. As such, more than a building, the pavilion is a model, an example of the culture to which it belongs. A pavilion does not host functions, or satisfy needs. Rather, it is merely a model for other possible buildings: a building that embodies an entire set of other potential buildings. The Italian pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai Expo is a spectacular building. The Expo, in fact, is a fair or a festival, and the pavilion therefore has to be a festive building. Yet the compulsion to amaze that contemporary architecture cannot escape cannot be the reason for vulgar, nonsensical solutions.

Housing in Tirana

Baukuh was invited to design two apartment buildings in the city center of Tirana as the result of an invitation by Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana, to the Berlage Institute to the city in 2004. The invitation was based around the imaginative input of Elia Zenghelis, who had sat on the International jury which drew up the city center’s master plan a year earlier. The building located on Xhezmy Delli Street emerges from a typical Tirana environment of diverse typologies, shapes, colors, and materials and it is the product of his singular condition. The result is a prism that dug furiously to match the requirements of the building code: trivial from the point of view of construction, bizarre from a volume point of view as the result of contortions due to tight building regulations, and surprisingly generous from a spatial point of view, and a reflection of the aggressiveness of the building transformations of contemporary Albania.

More information at and

This is a good opportunity to continue learning from the branches of architecture so we invite you to join us at Foros 2016:

Date: Monday, 18 April 2016 – 7 p.m.
Lecture: Public architecture is abstract, and abstract architecture is public
Place: UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, Aula Magna (Main Hall) – C/ Immaculada 22, Barcelona
Language: English
Admission: free

Guillermo Marfà Permanyer, UIC Barcelona School of Architecture.
Source: Abitare, Divisare and Domus

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