As an architect, do you prefer to work on a restoration project or one where you can realize an entirely new concept from scratch?

Of course we prefer to create new buildings…but to choose restoration is not really restoration, because in Italy restoration is different. Restoration is, for example, the Teatro Marchello.  On the top of the Teatro Machello there is a building that was made in the 17th century and we are doing a project inside, and in this case, someone else is doing the restoration - restoring the frescos, etc… We are transforming the city from the inside.

Interviewers' notes: the Teatro Machello is built on top of a medieval house. Where the ancient theatre has eroded away, the exposed marble is in different states of decay and portions have been restored to keep the ancient building intact, giving the viewer a glimpse of what the original architecture looked like and uncovering the various layers of Rome.

Rome is built in layers and you can recognize that every layer has its own identity. It’s not the identity of the Renaissance or the Baroque, it’s a Roman identity. The decision to write on it and create a new story, [a story that will tell a new chapter of Rome’s history, is a difficult decision]. [It is] not concerning what was nobility or what [the structure was before] was before… In Italy, a lot of times it was [thought] that we had to preserve the antiquities so, [the architects] don’t have [any work]. But, that is not correct because in our tradition there is a [tendency towards] transformation and not conservation. so they forgot that Rome has been transformed a lot of times very strongly, writing new stories and creating new layers.