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ARCHITECT FOCUS


THUN MATTEO


The Italian architect and interior designer tells Magali Robathan about the challenges of creating a new look for the Hilton Barcelona, and explains the thinking behind the Ecotecture movement


How did your career begin? Originally, I wanted to be a doctor – but then I had the opportunity to study under [Austrian expressionist artist and draughtsman] Oskar Kokoschka at the Salzburg Academy in Austria. He taught me to really ‘see’. Afterwards, I moved to Florence and studied architecture under


the Italian architect Adolfo Natalini. I later met the architect and designer Ettore Sottass, and we founded the Memphis Group in Milan in 1981. [The Memphis Group comprised a group of designers that created Post Modern furniture and design objects between 1981 and 1987] I opened my own offi ce in Milan in 1984.


■ Matteo Thun


Following the principle of the Milan school, we always worked in interior design and architecture at the same time – we approach all projects holistically.


At what point did you start to make a name for yourself? In 1993 we created the fi rst low-energy, sustainable prefab housing system in wood. Ever since that time, sustainability has been what’s driven me.


Where do you get the inspiration for your designs? I travel a lot, and I meet loads of different, interesting people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds who inspire me. I love art and visit exhibitions as much as I can, wherever I am in the world.Also I spend my weekends surrounded by nature – always the best energiser.


Where do you work on your designs?


■ The Hilton Barcelona is fl ooded with natural light 66 LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014


I am a visual person – so wherever I am, I draw in my black notebook.


www.leisurehandbook.com


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