Interview: Caterina Casagrande
Luca Curci talks with Caterina Casagrande during THE EXTENDED BODY 2020 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Caterina Casagrande has made her career in contemporary architecture focusing in equality, accessibility, and the diverse use of space. Caterina Casagrande was born in 1961 in Turku, Southwest Finland, into a family of entrepreneurs. She followed her father’s example to study architecture and received her architectural diploma from Lunds Tekniska Högskolan (LTH), Sweden, in 1991. She received further education in colour theory in Barcelona in 1994. She started her work in Florence, participating in historical restoration projects in the Italian city. The interest towards historical architecture and renovations has stayed with her as one of the main themes of her work, particularily in developing the historical areas of her home city of Turku. After developing her expertise as a principal designer in architectural offices both in Finland and abroad, Casagrande founded her own office in 2005 in Turku. The projects range from one-family houses to large urban plannig projects, the focus being in housing, care architecture, and renovations. Often experimenting with colours and massing, Casagrande seeks to form the intangible feelings of safety, hope, harmony, and joy into spaces, responding to needs that are deeply human.
The office uses Building Information Modeling (BIM). Casagrande explains: “BIM is an essential part of today’s workflow. The model helps the client to form an understanding of the project early on, and as the project advences, the model is used to convey information to the builder and other designers”. Casagrande has made her mark as a female entrepreneur in a traditionally conservative and maledominated field, often being the only woman in meetings. The experience has inspired her to take part to #NaisjohtajatEsiin campaign, which celebrates Finnish female leadership and aims to create role models and encourage girls to seek leadership positions.
Luca Curci – In which way the project you presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
Caterina Casagrande – The work consist in living units, like cells in body, and combining the units you form different form and contents. Like extensions of the body. Allowing different activities in the building. Then the whole is coated whit roof and facade to resemble normal building and hiding the contes of cells.
LC – What are you currently working on?
CC – My office is currently working whit housing projects pros. 350 appartments to Turku area and Capital area, ca. 100, billdingsites going on in Helsinki 200 apartments
LC – How would you describe your style?
CC – Architecture is always site-bounded and the surrounding defines the architecture. But I would say that my stile is elegant, timeless ja modern clean forms.
LC – Which architects inspire you the most?
CC – Zaha Hadid: her use of forms inspires me.
LC – Are you concerned about environmental and social sustainability in your buildings? If so, what role does green building play into your work?
CC – Sustaninability and green building is in important role whit all projects, geothermal heating, energy-efficnet structure and heat recovery are important in Finnish climate conditions. Solar energy is increasing although we have in winter less sun. SoCial sustainability is important to take to considerations when lot of rental apartments is focusing in same block, trying to create versatile size of dwellings.
LC – Do you usually cooperate with museums, architecture studios or other institutions? If so, for what kind of projects?
CC – Rarely.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
CC – I find it very interesting and if gives possibilities to different kind of expression and perspectives to present art-architecture works.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists and architects?
CC – Yes indeed.