Mario Bellini has had a professional career so diverse that it's practically beyond compare. Internationally renowned as an architect and designer, winner among others of 8 Compasso d'Oro and prestigious architecture awards including the Medaglia d'Oro conferred on him by the President of the Italian Republic, Mario Bellini has also been a teacher, spokesman, curator and editor. Among his many design projects, he created furniture or design products for B&B Italia and Cassina - such as the famous "Cab" chair -- Vitra, Brionvega, Yamaha and Olivetti. He has also worked for car manufacturers such as Fiat and Lancia, and in the sector of lighting for Artemide, Flos and Erco. Twenty-five of his creations are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York which dedicated to him a personal retrospective exhibition in 1987. Crane.tv catch up with the multi-talented man, he tells us about one of his working experiences in Tokyo and his most recent project.
In 1992, the Italian architect completed the Tokyo Design Center, a meeting place for designers, manufacturers and users. "Japan, 30 years ago, was the architect's wonderland." Whilst many designers had failed in the project, Bellini managed to create a unique form with an impressive passage and staircase which cuts through the building diagonally.
Bellini is currently working on a project with French architect Rudy Ricciotti on the Islamic Art Galleries at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, which is the second contemporary architecture project after the pyramid by Pei more than twenty years ago. One of the finest collections of works of Art of Islam will soon be presented to the world on two different levels in the Cour Visconti under a undulating glass roof which will let daylight into the exhibition spaces. The "goldfish, luminous, translucent foulard," both subtly evokes the Islamic Art and from an architectural point of view respects the style of the neoclassical Cour Visconti. "It is and will be, at least for me, one of the most challenging and prestigious projects."
Text by Paul Rappaport for Crane.tv
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