Renzo Piano has no doubts about the essential centrality of the suburbs in urban life: “The mission of architecture in this century is to save the suburbs. If we do not succeed, the result for our children will be both an urban and a social disaster”.
The world famous architect, whose best known and most important projects deal with the redevelopment of suburbs including the Columbia University campus in Harlem, the Paris Law Courts on the borders of the northern suburbs and the new Saclay High School to the south of the capital, has in fact never made a secret of his interest in and tremendous attention paid to the care and redevelopment of suburban areas.
This mission of redevelopment, not just in terms of urban but also social planning often involves a renewal of infrastructures, roads, buildings, services, but also a path intended to create social cohesion. Redeveloping means keeping the origins of a place in mind, preserving and improving them, but without depriving them of their identity.
"The identity of a project is not a question of whose signature it bears but of genius loci" states Mario Cucinella. “Each project must be contextualized and integrated and it must work and become an integral part of everyday life. The identity of a project must be linked to the building's ability to respond to a place and a precise requirement thus making each project different from every other one”