Interview: Italian architecture in spotlight at Shanghai Expo: architect (2)

11:17, April 19, 2010      

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A mixed Italian-Chinese committee will examine the projects and choose 10 winners, who will be granted a 10,000 euros (13,500 U.S. dollars) prize and the privilege of showcasing their restyling of the Silk Road at the Shanghai Expo. The competition is still ongoing and Oddi Baglioni expects more than 100 participants.

The internal area of the architecture exposition will have a hexagonal structure representing the ideal Renaissance city. There will be a total of six thematic corners all related to the application of high design and innovative architecture to the bettering of life and city quality.

Each corners will have an interactive and multimedia touch-screen where visitors may find helpful information and models.

The screen of the mobility corner, for example, will be showing the newly restyled underground subway stations of Naples, a mix of sophisticated design and figurative art. The youth corner will be instead dedicated to the promotion of young Italian architects.

Oddi Baglioni stressed that in recent years Italian architecture, thanks to the rise of a new generation of designers, has penetrated global markets.

"Differently from the past our work today is well known and very much appreciated around the world. We are starting to export Italian architecture with success. As OICE president, I'm very proud."

Italian architects and engineers are quite popular in Algeria, he said, where they are frequently commissioned to build hospitals and apartments. But access to the Chinese market remains a tough challenge and this is why the Shanghai Expo will be a great occasion to boost contacts and business opportunities.

"China's rapid urbanization process represents an opportunity we cannot miss. The Chinese have the right engineering skills but we have the creativity, quality design, restoration and restyling capacities," he observed, adding that the mixture of these two different aspects has incredible potentialities.

A Tuscany-based firm is currently restructuring some ancient Buddhist temples in China with innovative technologies, he said. According to Oddi Baglioni, the Italian design and concept have a great appeal in China and he hopes this trend will increase after the Shanghai Expo.

The OICE is part of Confindsutria, Italy's main industrial confederation, and member of the European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations.

Source: Xinhua
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