On the occasion of the inauguration of the new Milan office of the studio, the Florentine family of architects Pierattelli tell INTERNI what it means to work in a team, at home and in the office

Pierattelli Architetture is a family business that can be defined to all intents and purposes as a study -workshop, just as was the custom in the past in Tuscany, when knowledge was handed down from father to son, as a guarantee of excellence that meticulously combines the experience of working in the field with the youthful desire to explore new ideas.

The studio, which was born in Florence in 1980 out of the intuition and passion of the architect Massimo Pierattelli, has inaugurated in recent weeks a new Milan office, in via Bramante 13.

A novelty that can be explained in the direction specialized in 'corporate' projects, which immediately described the activity of the studio. The new address in Milan will be managed personally by one of the two sons Claudio Pierattelli, who together with his brother Andrea work alongside their father in the family business.

Pierattelli is a multidisciplinary studio that looks in different directions and experiments on a daily basis. From hotels to residential buildings, from landscape design to recycled architecture. An example of their versatile and successful work is the Yellow Square case, the Florentine hostel which complied with the need to keep the renovation cost per square meter rather low, but with an explosive and impactful.

The studio fully respects the 'stereotype' (in positive terms, of course) of the Florentine artisan activity of the past: Andrea and Claudio Pierattelli told INTERNI what it means to be architects and relatives, today.

How do you work in your studio?

In the studio the projects are always discussed together with the professionals of the studio while we two brothers and our father Massimo are at the helm, both in terms of projects and creative proposals. The brainstorming phase is always broad-based, discussion is fundamental for us.

Where do you discuss this?

Often at home, at lunch we find ourselves discussing work issues or current projects!

But of course also in the studio: we have three strong characters, sometimes passion drives us to more heartfelt discussions, but always constructive. For us it is important that the project works, not only that it is aesthetically beautiful, that it therefore has a complete meaning and value.

For example, for the recovery of a structure in Rome, we created a ventilated facade which, however, was born from a totally different idea: initially we had thought of working with additional elements, then, we corrected ourselves along the way and thanks to the stimuli of all three, the project has been transformed into an architectural intervention in all respects.

Does your mother participate in the discussions?

Of course. Our mother is also an architect, she was an urban planner in the Region for 30 years and is now retired, but she has a very precise technical knowledge and gives us a hand on the rules in the study especially on the initial phase of the projects.

How does knowledge transfer work within your firm?

Studio work with paper and pencil is fundamental for us, but it is on the construction site that we acquire, even today, day after day, the experience useful for understanding the dynamics in depth.

In particular, during the university period we both had the good fortune to be able to live life on the construction site accompanying our father, this is certainly the main key to our transfer of knowledge.

However, it must be said that the experiences lived since childhood have also contributed to our formation: our parents have always taken us with them around the world, an aspect that undoubtedly ignited something in both of us.

We were always enthusiastic about visiting cities and museums and often the travel destinations were also chosen based on the architectural places to visit. In addition, to be honest, even LEGO bricks have their merits!

How do you choose who to assign a project to?

In all the projects we follow one of us three is always personally involved. In this way the customer knows that he is followed ad personam, just as it was done in the shops of the past.

There is never an order left to collaborators, this to ensure that triangulations or mediations are not created and then because we are very keen on direct contact.

The choice of referent instead is determined by the type of project in question: each of us three has a particular inclination both creative and characteristic, so we let ourselves be guided by this, based on experience.

You are the signature of the appreciated Yellow Square in Florence. What was the focal element of the project?

The color and the shape. It seems trivial to say, but it is found, for example, in the case of the long corridor leading to the rooms: we have transformed a straight and 'boring' part into an immersive space.

We did this by adding slight 10cm inclinations to the walls, which created an intriguing play of light and shadow in spite of a 20m corridor that could simply be a succession of doors next to each other.

The inclination made is minimal, but the movement and final dynamism are in total harmony with the concept of hostel to which Yellow Square responds.

In your works, landscape contextualisation is very important. How will you move with the orders in Milan, a scenario quite different from the Tuscan one?

Yes, it's true. But we also work a lot with corporate realities that can better marry with our presence in Milan. The dual headquarters allows us to continue to keep active the design predisposition on both fronts, in the same way.

We always like to work in synergy with the landscape, respecting its characteristics.

This can be seen in the work done for the Terna electrical conversion station in Suvereto (Livorno): the Tuscan nature that surrounds it, full of cultivated fields, inspired the new architecture of the industrial building. The fulcrum of the project is the terracotta which takes charge of the nuances of the landscape, reflecting its tones and warmth.