Thomas Phifer is a New York architect who lived in Rome for a short time. During his career he had the opportunity to build various exhibition structures and some private homes. Although the factors involved in designing a museum structure are very different from those of a private home, it is possible to find some recurring traits in Phifer’s architecture. Two of these are certainly the great attention to the choice of materials and the use of light as a real design element.
The Tree Mag is an Italian-based reality and we know that you worked in Italy: moving from the previous question, as light and natural world, in particular landscape, are an essential topic for us, can you talk a little about your experience here in Italy? Which were your impressions about Italian landscape compared to USA?
My experience in Italy always returns to my time at the American Academy in Rome. Most every morning I would visit the Pantheon just to experience the light- to watch the rain passing through the oculus- and see the sky framed. It is that connection to nature that became an important moment in my life.
We saw that you don’t have preferences in using a material more than others: you pass from concrete to glass, from stone to brick with elegance and know-how. How much is this aspect important to you and which are the main reasons that push you in a clear direction?
We want to limit distractions in the architecture so you feel the light and experience it against the materials. We limit the number of materials so each can fully express their true nature.
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