|Getting to the other side: A photograph by Archie Pizzini. — Photo courtesy of Galerie Quynh
HCM CITY (VNS) — The two American partners who set up HCM City-based architecture firm HTA + pizzini have exhibited photo and text-based works and installations that highlight the concepts driving their architectural practice and reveal their creative responses to the city.
The exhibition entitled "In Situ" will run until May 2 at Galerie Quynh, which was designed by the pair, Hoanh Tran and Archie Pizzini, in 2013 on the second floor of a building with rich social and historical layering at 151/3 Dong Khoi Street, District 1.
According to a release from the gallery, some architects demolish existing sites to create something completely new to signify a modern city, while others attempt to preserve the history of the site by refusing to modify it.
Tran and Pizzini deliberately choose a middle way, building upon the rich layers of the history of a site.
Tran said: "A city is enriched by accumulations over generations... Accumulation incorporates destruction, but keeps enough fabric to retain cultural identity, while obliteration erases everything, including the cultural fabric."
"In Situ" is expected to be a testament to the architects' ethical position favouring sustainability and resilience.
Tran originally studied to be a chemist and worked in the conservation department of the National Gallery of Art in the US capital Washington DC.
He received a master's degree in historic preservation from Columbia University in New York in 1990 and a master's in architecture from SCI-Arc in Los Angeles in 1995.
He lived and worked in New York and Hong Kong before returning to HCM City in 1996 where he worked as an architect prior to establishing HTA + pizzini.
Pizzini studied architecture and fine arts as an undergraduate at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he got a BFA degree in painting.
He received his master's in architecture from University of Houston in 1989.
He practised architecture in the US for 15 years before coming to Viet Nam.
The two are currently Ph.D candidates in architecture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. — VNS