LEADING CULTURE DESTINATIONS:
MAXIMILIANO ARROCET is a groundbreaking force in contemporary architecture. He was made a director of Amanda Levete Architects in 2012, having joined the office in 2007. He previously led the design of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon and is currently leading the design for Pitch/Pitch, a new concept for inner-city stackable football pitches, the design for Maggies Centre in Southampton and AL_A’s work for the reception and conference centre of an investment bank’s new London headquarters. Maximiliano also leads a number of private residential projects and has an expertise in bespoke contemporary and historic detailing. Maximiliano studied at the University of Bath and Westminster University, and has a strong understanding of construction techniques and materiality. His background in engineering and multidisciplinary approach is reflected in projects at all scales. Here the LCD 2018 Select Jury member shares his inspiration and tells us why he believes Burning Man is one of the most profound autonomous zones on the planet.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which one would it be and why?
James Turrell’s Roden Crater project. It has the capacity to question the most fundamental elements of human perception. It’s timeless geological setting immediately shifts your perception to astronomical time. It helps you feel and understand concepts that otherwise we only understand with our intellect. To go underground, to understand our perception of the colour of the sky, or to experience how a circle transmogrifies to an ellipse as you walk down the largest refractor telescope is simply mind blowing. It’s an art piece that makes you question the nature of your perception.
What is your favourite cultural destination?
Burning Man. It appeals to me at so many levels. It is a unique immersive utopia/dystopian experience full of contradictions–a white canvas to project whatever you want. A one-week urban scale art pop-up in the most Dali-esque surreal of settings. It is the epitome of ephemeral, a city that appears and disappears overnight leaving no trace.
HOW DO YOU BELIEVE MUSEUMS WILL IMPACT FUTURE CITIES?
Museums have already transcended their physicality, they are no longer bound by their their walls and archives. Technology is exponentially amplifying their reach and the public are finding new ways to experience them. I believe it is important for museums to position themselves and redefine their roles within the public realm of our future cities as our prime cultural catalyst. Museums must have an active role in shaping the culture in our cities.
Who do you think are the cultural innovators of tomorrow?
The cultural innovators of tomorrow are self-organised creative and environmentally conscious communities that are now empowered by technology and have the potential to implement profound change.
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT AND WHERE CAN WE FIND IT?
We just completed the footbridge at the MAAT museum that will link the new public space at the roof with the city, and are beginning the construction of our Maggie’s Centre project, which will provide free support for cancer patients and their families in Southampton. It is our smallest project in scale but, architecturally, it will be a little jewel. We are also working on the concept design and development for a project called Pitch/Pitch which is an ultra-lightweight, transportable, stackable five-a-side football system designed to solve the issues we have in dense urban areas.