Article Date: 01/07/2015
Andrea Maffei is a renowned architect who has influences from the world of cinema and also has a lane for Japan. When he graduated from Florence University he was really interested in working abroad to gain important experience at an international level. He was extremely fascinated by Japan because Tokyo has always represented by maximum concentration of cutting-edge, futuristic architecture from both a design point of view and a technological point of view. He worked in Tokyo from 1997 to 2004 where he worked as an Associate Partner of Arata Isozaki.
It gave him chance to travel all over the world, firstly to Qatar for the Sheikh Saud Al Thani projects, and then on to America for other projects. His first project there was the ice-hockey stadium for the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006 along with Olympic swimming pool and the Piazza d' Armi park in Turin. He then founded the Andrea Maffei Architects design studio and developed various projects in Italy and abroad. He was awarded various contracts in Italy, including those for the new Bologna Railway Station and the new office block for the Bergamo Provincial Governments. His name was behind the new exit for the Uffizi Museum in Florence, the new library in Maravello and the Imprima Buildings directional centre in Bergamo.
He is currently working as a designer and signer for the City Life project in Milan with Arata Isozaki to construct a large business and residential complex in the former Exhibition Centre area. Apart from his professional work, Maffei has been writing articles for the architectural magazine "Casabella" since 1997. From 2000 to 2002 he worked in the academic world as Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Waseda University in Tokyo and took part in conferences and seminars on the subject of architecture.
Maffei has always been influenced by the world of cinema, particularly in the images that go through his mind while he is developing a new project. Many images from films have helped form his imagination, both consciously and subconsciously.
Cinema has helped draw his imagination closer to the future and he believes that all architectural projects are inevitably an incarnation of our idea of the future. No project or design exists yet, they have still to be designed. They must be designed inevitably for the future.
Living and working in Tokyo has taught me a great deal. It was extremely interesting to come face to face with a culture and a way of life that are completely different, First of all because Tokyo is the most modern city in the world. Architecture is created in a very short space of time without any problems. This has allowed Japanese architects to become such an enormous success all around the world. Construction companies have a real high level of quality. Everything is based on highly organised project control systems, almost mathematical, in which the size of even the smallest detail has an influence on the overall dimensions of the building, and vice-versa.
The idea to create a tower for City Life emerged from an investors contest in 2013. The Milan Exhibition Centre wanted to use it to sell the area in the city and finance the new Exhibition Centre in Rho in the outskirts of Milan. Maffei and his associates were invited by Generali Real Estate to take part in the contest together. Other designers, Hadid and Libeskind were involved to recreate the complexity of the city in different forms and styles. The real estate investment itself required that a large park had to be created. And from there came the idea to use skyscrapers, as well as to create a new "city" that could become a new centre of attraction and development for the whole of Milan.