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RAP Architettura

Officina – Bologna Attiva


RAP ARCHITECTURE: Guido, Francesco and Paolo, 3 freelance architects who decided to get involved, join forces and start collaborating, each one putting their own experience at the service of the other. The DumBO space is their meeting point, where they meet, discuss, collaborate and create new projects in synergy with each other.


Hi, tell us about yourselves! There are three of you, right?

Francesco: Yes! Paolo and I met at university, or rather since high school if we want to be precise. We had been saying for a year that it would be nice to find a space to work together. Then, when I started thinking about coming back from London, Paolo thought of this thing and told me: “Look, Guido and I are looking for a space to work together, if you want to join us…” and from there we started. This is the story of how we met!

Guido: I had come here last spring with a friend who was looking for a space to do a gym in. Among other things, it turned out that they were going to fix up the Workshop, I was a bit interested, I was fascinated by the project. After a few months, I sent an email and here we are!


What do you guys do?

Guido: We deal with architectural design and what comes from it. Then, maybe Paolo and I have worked more on the territory, while Francesco has a wider horizon.

Francesco: Having worked for the last six years in London, I kept my contacts there and my clients are other architectural firms for whom I follow the basic projects. I’m a freelance architect, so typically a client who has an architectural firm entrusts me with a project, I follow it from the beginning to the end. In England, the architect goes to the building site much less than here in Italy and that is why I can work remotely.


What is your mission? And the values that push you to do this job?

Paolo: As far as I am concerned, it is an “egoistic” discourse of passion for the work I do, I like it. I like it because I see that it can change, it is not always the same, and I realize that our work also has a “social implication”, because we work in the spaces where people live, so we can add quality to their lives.

Guido: For me, it starts from a personal need, then it’s clear that if you succeed in what you do, you automatically contribute in a positive way to society.


In the world of architecture, is there a division between those who are more aesthetic and those who are more social?

Francesco: In my experience, most architecture is done by technicians for technical reasons. Architecture that has an aesthetic sense, sure, but the bulk of the work is technical: in my opinion, we are technicians more than artists.

Paolo: In the residential field, the technical aspect prevails, but our profession obviously also embraces more artistic, more conceptual aspects. The great thing about our profession is that it is quite broad, isn’t it!

Francesco: There is not an artistic aspect and a technical aspect, architecture is a bit of a fusion of the two. You have the technical skills, but you are also a bit of a humanist.


Do you collaborate or do you each work individually on your own projects?

Francesco: We were just talking about this the other day! Guido and I did a little collaboration more than anything else to test how to do it.

Guido: In the end, new ideas are born from the exchange, especially in our field, which is becoming more and more complex and needs more and more specialization, so either you specialize a lot and work individually or you have to get used to working in a team.

Paolo: I am against specialization: I see the comparison as an enrichment because it always allows you to learn something new.


Why did you choose to come to DumBO? What do you expect from this space?

Francesco: I was very positively impressed right away: the synergy that could be created between different creative subjects attracted me a lot. And then there’s the bar!

Paolo: I agree too. Little by little, especially in the last period, I’m appreciating more and more this space and also the human relationship.

Guido: I was excited about having a space with so many things to do, so many functions, even the bar, which is a reason for socializing. By the way, my graduation thesis was on a project similar to this one: the recovery of abandoned heritage, often of an industrial nature, is a theme that is studied a lot at the university of architecture. There are so many examples of urban areas in the manufacturing sector that need to be redeveloped, so it’s a very interesting theme, perhaps for those of us who have done this type of study, and it’s especially interesting to be inside it and experience it.


For info: rap.architettura@gmail.com


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