Or rather, architecture has many souls. 36 architects tell their stories in the book of the same name by Stefano Bucci

«Architecture is now my music, a music capable of inventing spaces that resonate with all the sounds of the world around us and buildings where we can stop, look inside, concentrate, feel the right vibrations». These are the words of Daniel Libeskind who talks about himself in an interview with Stefano Bucci, now in the book of conversations entitledArchitecture has many souls (Allemandi), a collection of interviews with architects by the Corriere della Sera journalist.

This music by Libeskind comes after the music of the young Daniel who dreamed of being a professional musician. His parents gave him an accordion because they were afraid of exposing themselves too much by bringing a piano into the courtyard of the building where they lived, in Lódz, Poland 1946 , dark era.

So they gave him that instrument which «is nothing other than a piano in a suitcase», explains Libeskind, but around the age of twelve he had exhausted all the possibilities that instrument could offer and understood that he had to move on to architecture. A dream, an enlightenment, also, above all, a love.

The one for drawing first of all and planning: «Drawing is something divine, which does not need sophisticated technologies, but only inspiration and beauty. Drawing can stage the complexity of the universe with a pencil, drawing is capable of synthesizing that same complexity on a piece of paper", continues Libeskind.

And to Bucci's question about what the fundamental skill is for being a good architect, he replies: «You must be surprised by the wonder of the world. He must be amazed by this beauty, by everything that has happened since the origins of the world and not just by a film or a book... And he must put love into what he does."

It talks about Brunelleschi and Michelangelo, about domes and piety, about the Renaissance (still relevant because it talks about the man) and about a city that must protect its inhabitants, just like the Storto, its skyscraper who protects Milan from City Life.

A samurai from Akira Kurosawa. This is how Bucci defines the architect Tadao b, a warrior of life, who uses the project as a reason for existence and an objective to be achieved in order to remain in the hearts of men. It was 2019, the year of the interview reported here and the Japanese architect was in Milan for an exhibition that Armani Silos was dedicating to him.

The man for whom «the most important problem of architecture is to remain within the hearts of people and light must not only illuminate the architectural space, but also the hearts of men» has a story worthy of a film: he was a truck driver, then a boxer until he saw the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: a building that became his heart to the point of forcing him to study architecture as a self-taught until, in 1998, he opened his own studio in Osaka.

Fascinated by Lecorbusier's idea that architecture is a space within light, Tadao Ando talks about joy and beauty, essential elements to create a "beautiful, aesthetically interesting environment, spaces where you can live well, where you can perceive the joy of living, doing beautiful things".

Beautiful things are also those that Mario Botta allows himself to do in the month of August, in his studio in Mendrisio, in good solitude: he has never taken holidays, except when he was a teenager: « the idea of a break that interrupted my rhythm in some way has always bothered me a lot", he explains, however defining that suspended time in August in the city as a time he had lost during the year, "a time in which I can find myself again, in which I recover the pleasure of small, well-done things that had escaped me."

Meditative, almost monastic, that summer moment is the moment in which it is possible to find oneself and reflect on one's work. By drawing, because for him drawing embodies the vision of the world and the pencil, as Bucci writes, is a seismograph that records his emotions.

He then quotes Louis Khan to define building as a sacred act in itself, "an action that transforms a condition of nature into a condition of culture". Not only that: «The need that drives man to confront the dimension of the infinite is a primordial necessity in the search for beauty that has always accompanied man in the construction of his own life space».

Cino Zucchi talks about cohousing, inviting us to revisit Animal House, a cult film by John Landis with an extraordinary John Belushi, because «those American college fraternities immortalized by Belushi are currently the social organization most similar to what we today call cohousing, which is talked about a lot in Italy but which still boasts few concrete experiments».

This was the theme of the interview forLa Lettura, but then the conversation inevitably began to travel along broader issues, trying to define the city ("the place of confrontation between different subjects and interests and therefore of both conflict and compromise») and the Italian territory, where planning always finds territories with a high rate of anthropization and on which Zucchi reflects at the time of the interview, prior to the inauguration of the Biennale which saw him as the creator of the Italian Pavilion .

His response? «The only thing that Italy must not do is use its artistic heritage as an inherited coat of arms that justifies its inability to give itself an adequate present and future».

And then he continues, this time in rock territory: he mentions Natalie Merchant who, during one of her concerts, presented the song Life is sweet, saying that she chose this title to "give back meaning to such an overused phrase, how Jenny Holzer manages to give new life to the sentences that scroll on her video screens".

Well, Zucchi continues, «We must not be afraid of the banal, of things or places tested by time, especially when they are still able to accommodate our lives and our expectations».

Therefore, he follows a no-holds-barred comparison between art and architecture by quoting Adolf Loos: «The house must please everyone. Unlike a work of art, which doesn't need to please anyone. The work of art is put into the world without there being any need for it. The house instead satisfies a need. The work of art wants to tear men away from their comforts. The house is at the service of comfort. The work of art is revolutionary, the house is conservative. Man loves everything that serves his comfort and hates everything that annoys him. And that's why he loves the house and hates art."

There are 36 architects who converse with Bucci in this volume and who outline different souls, as the title suggests, of architecture. He has many, it's true. Easy-going, meditative, social, eco-sustainable, humanist, musical, mathematical, dreamlike, concrete, visionary, innovative, technological, traditional, comfortable, welcoming... beautiful: architecture aims for beauty. Then what beauty means is to be found in these pages.