Studio Zero85: the name speaks volumes; a trademark that underlines the strong sense of ownership to the territory felt by the collective of architects composed by Mirko Giardino, Mario Michetti e Giovanna Pizzella. 085 is the metropolitan area code of Chieti-Pescara.
An attachment to Abruzzo that has not prevented these three young guys to see, within a few months, their own names ended up in prestigious international events such as the 14th International Architecture Biennale di Venezia, the Award-Winning International Brick Architecture in Vienna and the Fritz Höger Prize in Berlin. How have they done? Even if they still keep on asking, but, seeing their projects, it’s clear how their work has been particularly appreciated by those looking for quality, innovation, creativity and a touch of madness. Studio Zero85 owns all these characteristics and in their last two projects it can be deduced how architecture can still be able to grasp a serene dialogue between human being and environment, between living needs and territorial context.
The first international recognition they received has been the project for the artist Sergio Sarra’s Casa-studio, in Manoppello (in the province of Pescara), selected among 50 proposals coming from 26 different nations for the Award-Winning of Vienna. This same project, after the Austrian achievement, was part of the 50 works in nomination for the Frizt Höger Prize, one of the most important award for the brick architecture design. At last, in the same period, with the work Trabocco on the canal-harbour in Pescara, came the invitation to exhibit in the Pavilion Italia during the Biennale di Venezia. Graduated at the “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, after a period of staying in Canada and several experiences all around Italy, the collective has come back in the Adriatic town nurturing a dream: to work having the sea and the mountain just few steps from home and trying to best explain their kaleidoscopic skills avoiding, as an absolute rule, clientelistic mechanisms and underhanded dealings with politics and building market; this is an honourable attitude that has been awarded, in some ways, by the economic crisis which fires the unprepared and gives credit to those good in his craft.
Three architects, three friends, three subjects different from one another: who lives an “ongoing flight” with art and who nurtures visceral passions for the visual; who grew up in the golden age of the 70’s art collecting in Pescara and who cannot help but look to ethno-anthropological aesthetic references of Abruzzo; Abruzzo which is always ready to give examples, imagines, primitive building solutions and basic tips for developing an idea. But Zero85 is more; is a made-of experiences and cultural references that weighs a ton: from the Informal Art to the exasperated post-industrial Minimalism, from the rigorous Gropius’s Constructivism to the conceptual elegance of 90’s. The carried out projects are always shared and sometimes, as in the Casa-studio of Sergio Sarra artist, the same client becomes co-designer. To nurture this ongoing dialogue between “masters” there is also the sharing of physical and intellectual spaces with the photographer Sergio Camplone, neighbour across the desk of the three architects.
Inspired by the statement of art critic Vittorio Sgarbi “increased well-being has led to the decay of the taste” the collective, through the Casa-studio work, where living needs are placed in close dialogue with the location in which the project has been conceived, wants to show how function, well-being and aesthetics can cohabit in full harmony. Casa-studio, in fact, looks at the surrounding, or better, the surrounding looks at this building which preserves a formal rigor typical of the earth houses that a time studded the hills all around Pescara. A liveable space where the needs of a profession practically interlock with the artist’s family life. A single solid complex that, due to an uncommon exasperated longitudinal extension, becomes liquid and fluid.
Greater austerity, instead, has been adopted for the Trabocco on the canal-harbour in Pescara. This austerity is given by an existing building that while loses that fascinating function of rudimentary fishing machine (the Adriatic waters do not always succeed in coming to wet the support beams of the sophisticated “pile-dwelling”) it still remains as a lasting symbol in the collective imagination of Abruzzo. A dry design, that chosen by the Zero85 collective to renovate this building, which makes this “sounds-like Salvador Dalì construction” a video camera that looks from the sea, as an undisturbed poetic voyeur, at the moist lights which light up the city of Pescara.