Angelo Renna
Multispecies architecture
Amsterdam, NL

Angelo Renna is an architect with a practice established in Amsterdam after having studied architecture in Florence and Porto. He has grown a particular interest in preserving and implementing natural elements in architecture. While constantly working on multiple collaborations, he leads his own practice in a dynamic and sustainable manner.

 

Working as a lone wolf

Like many other young architects at the beginning I was working for an architecture firm and besides that, I was working with friends and colleagues on competitions. Among many attempts, once we got lucky and we won the Europan with Luca and Davide. However, it wasn’t enough to start a full-time collaboration. I work as a lone wolf ;) and I prefer to find new collaborations every time in relation to the projects. It is a more dynamic and economically sustainable way of working.

 

Ladybugs delivered to the studio

For my latest project “lesser houses” I bought 25 ladybugs on Amazon…I did not know that you could actually buy insects online and receive them by post alive. I built with Francesco (a wildlife specialist) a terrarium; a mini garden in a glass box to monitor and to understand how the ladybugs behave, what they like to eat and make them try the houses I was designing. 

 

Finding a balance between different jobs

Becoming an adult, I found a better balance between the different jobs and the private life. I work 4 days a week for a landscape practice in Amsterdam and on Fridays and sometimes weekends I can focus on my research and projects. In this way I can continue to improve my skills and experience and, besides, I have the time to work on my things.

 

Relating spatial articulation to life organisation

My studio space is a small room in the apartment where I live. I recently discovered that the building was designed by the famous Dutch architect Berlage and his assistant Jop van Epan in the beginning of the last century. It is a simple social housing block, but I find the organization of the living program in many small rooms extremely interesting. In a certain way, this structured articulation of the spaces relates to the way I organize my work and life.

 

Expectations vs Reality: Achieving the expectations

I have been interested in nature and landscape since I was studying architecture, so I have to say that I did not end up in something really different from my expectations. 

Being a researcher and a designer at the same time is fundamental to me because it affects the way I see things, and as a consequence, the way I design.

I also don’t like to call myself a landscape-architect, because I am not. I am an architect with an interest in designing nature. I believe that architects in the near future will increasingly study the interactions among humans, plants, animals, and the environment; they will have to.

 

Upcoming

In the next few months, I would like to finish the two projects I’m working on for a long time: a research project about the zoo of the future (in collaboration with Thijs de Zeeuw) and the project of a small artificial island which it is able to collect microplastic in the Cetacean Sanctuary; the area with the highest biodiversity marine life in the Mediterranean sea but also with the highest level of concentration of plastic. Regarding the near future, I just started writing my second book “What is Nature?”, following my first publication “Monkey Factor”. Fingers crossed!

01 portrait min

03 studio space min

02 studio space min

05 europan 12

Photography Courtesy of Angelo Renna






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