Labics Structures

With atmospheric photographs and drawings, “Structures”, the first monograph on the Rome-based architecture firm Labics, showcases the concepts and details of their wide-ranging portfolio (including residential architecture, museums, schools, libraries, as well as public spaces) to produce a comprehensive theoretical reading of the firm founded by Maria Claudia Clemente and Francesco Isidori in 2002.

The book, noticeably, takes a retrospective approach to the work of the studio that since its founding has fast established itself as one of the leading architecture practices in Italy, and combines it with four thematic essays by Labics on the book’s underlying concept of Structures (Geometric Structures, Tectonic Structures, Structures of Public Spaces, and Circulation Structures) as investigated between the classical and modern architectural history and the context of Labics’ work: a theoretical frame that unfolds some of the major projects by the office, located all over the world.

“We thought of architecture as a way of improving and changing people’s lives; that’s what has fueled our desire to build, the idea that we would be building spaces for other people. So, from the day we opened the studio, it was crucial to try and resolve this ideal contradiction in order to underpin our efforts, and to turn our visions into bricks and mortar wherever possible.” Labics

The volume includes an extensive interview by editor Stefano Casciani with founders Maria Claudia Clemente and Francesco Isidori and, most noticeably, recreates a virtual exhibition for Structures, the namesake installation of fifty models produced by Labics, to guide their architectural research. 

Thus this monograph becomes an indispensable tool to penetrate and interpret Labics’ architectural production, casting an unprecedented light of their vision and philosophy.

In the preface of the monograph, Clemente and Isidori explain how their idea of architecture as structure, their signature modus operandi, took shape: “when we founded Labics in 2002, architecture had already enjoyed many years of seemingly unlimited freedom,” declares the duo recalling how everything seemed possible back then and how the specialized press was striving for greater amazement and sensationalism. However, despite the global consensus on this approach to architecture, Labics would not settle for it and began to investigate the true nature of the architectural discipline, putting the past in discussion right from the start, in order to set new rules.

“Let us define the word structure: essentially it refers to the set of relations and rules within a system, be it material or immaterial, in which the individual components do not exist in their own right but only when connected to each other and in relation to the totality of which they form part. The word structure therefore tells us about the relations between the things and not about the things themselves.” Labics

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