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Lazzarini & Pickering


Lazzarini Pickering Architetti was founded in Rome, Italy in 1982 by Claudio Lazzarini and Carl Pickering. Claudio Lazzarini is from Rome, and Carl Pickering is from Sydney, Australia. Earlier this year, I visited their studio in Rome. I was introduced to the couple by my good friend and artist Jebila Okongwu. The nexus of this very project, WTC, began at Jebila’s studio over 10 years ago! LPA has gained international recognition for its successes in various fields of design: from architecture to the renovation of historic buildings, from the design of restaurants and hotels to the fields of nautical design, industrial design, graphic design and branding.


What is something that I would be surprised to find in your space?
The quality of the light and the art collection.

Describe your ideal workspace in three words…
Peace, concentration and serenity.

Does the space you work in have an interesting story?
Our office and house are in an old soap factory from the late C19th in the Trastevere area of Rome. A number of artists lived or worked in the complex: Cy Twombly had his studio here in the early 70’s and one of our meeting rooms looks out on a terrace for which he designed the paving pattern: a series of fine lines in travertine that crisscross regularly and irregularly the main floor in pietra serena. Gino De Dominicis, Mario Schifano and Maurizio Mochetti worked there as well as the Schifano and Boetti foundations had spaces. The film director Abel Ferrara lived in our loft and was famous for his parties- a tradition we continue, mainly after art exhibition openings for artists whom we collect to help galleries.

Do you work and live in the same space, if so how does that affect your work?
They are next door to one another, separated by a door. Living “above the shop” dilates time. We can invite clients for a lunch break chez nous during meetings cooked by our housekeeper Rosalina or go through to stir a curry on the stove...

What are you most proud of in the space?
We just cleaned up the spaces, we did not design them. We found them already restructured. Our art collection and its unorthodox  placement I think is what we are most proud of.

How would you describe your neighborhood?
Trastevere is a like small country village with a great atmosphere during the day. It is its own world.

What can you see outside your windows?
The office is mainly skylit with also high level windows. We have views of surrounding roof tops in the meeting rooms and my and Claudio’s offices.
Describe a real life mundane situation that inspires you!
Food shopping, we have some great markets nearby.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
We create site specific portraits of clients. We try to create a primary idea that resolves very complex issues. We know it is right when we can explain it in a phrase

What is your dream project?
To design large urban projects, small parts of a city. We have been working recently on some urban masterplans that have whet our appetite.

Favourite song/band while working? I don’t listen to music when I work, it distracts me.

What's the best advice you've been given and from whom?
From my “almost cousin” Howard Tanner on how not to lose money running an architectural office that is powered however by passion....

What is your most important artist's tool?
We are not artists but humble artisans. Claudio and I hand sketch everything but our very complex software is our greatest tool that our assistants have customised to allow us to work in a very elastic and experimental way when developing projects in 3D models.

The one practice that has changed your life the most? Meditation, running, writing etc. I should do all of these but I practice none. I think living with the person you work with has changed me most. We have each absorbed part of the other person’s character.

What mindset/mood do you make your best art/work? Just before a concept proposal presentation when ideas are flying but are being made form.

When you day dream in your space and just lose yourself in thought, what are you thinking or worrying about?
A new project, what work I have to finish or what I might do that evening.

Photography Paul Barbera








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