Design on a Human Scale: ProgettoCMR`s Architecture

Design on Human Scale

Design on Human Scale
Progetto CMR’s Architecture
Tianjin University Press
2007

      Massimo Roj’s architectural mission is all in his declared intent: to place “Man at the Centre”. Progetto CMR is based on the principle that the“container” cannot set the rules for the behaviour or the system of services within it; it is instead the well-being of the user that must dictate the principles upon which the architectural organism is designed, based on the user’s actual needs. However, an apparently obvious design principle like the one above must then in practice be able to virtuously combine in expensiveness and creativity, aesthetics and ethics, helpfulness and dialogue and, obviously, professionalism and commitment.
To design an architectural project around the real needs of its users also implies creating innovation, value and passion. Innovation meaning a solution designed to respond to dynamic reference conditions; value as a solution to the possible economic and structural changes of society; passion as the attention to all the players involved and their real and actual needs.
As it invariably happens, history and memory can prove helpful: Leonardo’s Vitruvian man is “the measure of all things”, while the Renaissance man expands the static point of view of the project anticipating the crucial theme of individual well-being (as Leon Battista Alberti put it in his De re aedificatoria, “In the choice of the environment it is best to mind that it is welcome by its inhabitants from every point of view”). Then came Le Corbusier’s Modular, defining parameters that are also applied in the field of design. Today, however, man is merely seen as a consumer of goods and spaces. It is therefore necessary, as can be observed in the work of Progetto CMR, to return to a higher consideration of the user, who cannot avoid confrontation not only with the three dimensions of the physical world, but also with the fourth dimension of time, which becomes a new measure of reference.
Italo Calvino wrote: “There is a tendency today in the manner in which culture views the world, emerging at once from various sources: the world, in its many facets, is seen all the more as discrete rather than continuous. I use the term ‘discrete’ in the mathematical sense, that is, that which is composed by separate parts”. The unifying answer of Progetto CMR to this consideration is the result of a complex and committed planning activity, which does not deal with architectural and interior design alone, nor with the sole optimization and management of spaces and people, but with all of these issues as a whole. This complexity is dominated by the active involvement of different professionals with various specializations – architecture, engineering, safety, and well-being – each with their specific knowledge and competences, but all sharing a vision that is unified and strategic, organized and managed.
This approach is based on a planning methodology involving different disciplines and considering all of the stages of a project – from the idea to the usage – in exact proportions and within a wider and more complex unitary vision. All of this within an activity that implies shrewd strategic choices, substantial economic commitment, a careful evaluation of risk factors, and a deep understanding of the operation.
Massimo Roj, in his neo-humanist vision, has been able to think and design buildings and an interior within which Man is no longer constrained by spaces designed according to traditional hierarchical schemes, but, on the contrary, receives from those essential stimuli for positiveness, creativity, well-being and dialogue.
Danilo Premoli, Preface


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