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Nevertheless, There is This Thing Called Architecture


ISBN: 9780957638907
2013 The Gulistan Press
Antonello Vagge (Editor)
Cesare Piva Sheila O’Donnell John Tuomey



This little book is a work of art in its own right, hand printed and bound in limited edition, "built with love" by Antonello Vagge.

It focuses on two conversations between Cesare Piva and O'Donnell + Tuomey. The small sketches accompanying the text were drawn exclusively for the book and have not been published anywhere else.


Thanks to my friend Antonello, once in Dublin I met Sheila and John. It was the autumn of 1998. From that moment on, in regular intervals, we started to converse, with an old portable recorder, the same one I had used with Gabetti & Isola, about their profession of architects and intellectuals. Despite my basic English we talked about their London experience with Jim Stirling, which took place in the seventies, during the "discovery" of Aldo Rossi. We talked about their interest in the certain architecture of the Fifties and above all about the profession of an architect, of building sites and words, of complex and often invisible relationships between preliminary drawings and construction. A profession, that O'Donnell + Tuomey practiced with meticulous historical-critical consciousness, without preconceived rules or models; a profession, theirs, practiced with the intelligence of imagination.
From that moment I tried to look at Italian architecture from a distance and my work was nourished by unexpected suggestions. I have inhabited many of Sheila and John's architectures with curiosity. In particular I touched the brick wall of the Ranalagh School and the Timberyard Housing a dozen times, I spent many afternoons at the Irish Film Center in Temple Bar, I entered Vessel in Venice, the city of Hugo Pratt's fantastic Fable. There I discovered their extraordinary sensibility and the lucidity of handling and trying to respond to the problems of the historical city, the landscape, the nature of building materials.
This book, built with love by Antonello Vagge and The Gulistan Press, contains this and much more.

- Cesare Piva

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