Event showcases Italian architecture, design

Event showcases Italian architecture, design

October 25, 2016

By Layan Damanhouri
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – The Italian Consulate hosted the Italian Language Week showcasing architecture and design in efforts to promote the language to foreign markets and bring together businessmen and architects on a common platform.

“We want to show that Italian is not only the language of arts and music but also the language of creativity and a part of the know-how which is the added value of Italian professionalism,” Consul General of Italy in Jeddah, Elisabetta Martini, said at a press conference here. “It’s very important to go along Saudi Arabia beyond the oil-based economy and match with the Vision 2030,” she said.

She further noted that Italian architects make a bulk of the Italian community in Saudi Arabia.

A gallery showcasing Italian architects’ work in the Kingdom was showcased at the Italian Language Week hosted at the Italian Cultural Center that runs until Tuesday.

Architects chose an Italian word that identifies their creative style along with interactive stations where visitors can test their skills in designing their project, combining it with an Italian word. Round tables with five leading architects were also offered to the public.

Working on major projects in the Kingdom for nearly 40 years, architect Franco Audrito says: «Saudis have great respect toward the profession of architects, allowing him and other firms to fulfill dream projects.»

Knowing the tradition and values of Saudi Arabia, he said, was crucial order to interpret them to buildings rather than imposing a foreign style. “The Italian creative people are welcomed in this country because they come here to know the values of Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that taking into consideration the elements of the country is more honest than importing foreign buildings that are not compatible, such as constructing glass buildings in a desert.

“What I found is in this country is that my clients don’t consider me as a foreigner. There are many similarities between the two cultures. We are similar in the attitude, the way of living, social life, and other aspects,” he said.

“Saudis like to work with Italian architects more than others because they feel confident in the relationship between the client and architect,” he added.

On the experience in Saudi Arabia, chief architect at Urban Design Group Vincenzo Provenzano, told Saudi Gazette, “I had the possibility to access bigger projects at a much different scale and budgets so we can maximize our imagination.”

What started as a small office grew and expanded from interior design to architecture in residential and commercial projects in the Kingdom.

October 25, 2016