US becoming more open-minded says Piero Lissoni as he announces New York architecture office

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Italian designer Piero Lissoni says that American clients are becoming more amenable to investing in detail-oriented architecture as he announces the official opening of Lissoni Architecture in New York City.

After a certification process through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in New York, Lissoni announced the opening of Lissoni Architecture, which will offer “360-degree” services.

Lissoni, who has operated the interiors studio Lissoni Inc in the city for eight years, said that he is excited to “finally” sign his name to architecture projects in the country.

The decision comes with what he sees as changing desires from American clients, who are moving away from architecture as only an investment towards more concern with appearance.

“In the US people have been less open-minded,” he said, compared to the “rest of the world”.

He cited projects like UK architecture studio Foster + Partner‘s in-progress New York buildings as evidence of more detail-oriented projects being commissioned in the country.

“New York is America”

Lissoni said that the certification will allow his studio to be taken more seriously and to handle all aspects of the project. The license will allow Lissoni’s studio to generate and manage architectural projects in the state of New York.

When asked why he chose New York as the state to launch the US branch of his architecture practice, the designer said that, to him, “New York is America”.

Lissoni said that he is also looking forward to potentially expanding to other states, such as Texas, noting that designing in Austin is something the studio is talking about.

In the coming months the studio, under the leadership of Lissoni New York CEO Stefano Giussani, will hire a number of new members to fill out the practice.

Lissoni described the studio as “a special ant”

Guissani said that both adaptive reuse projects and ground-up builds will be on the agenda, also noting that eight years of running Lissoni’s office in SoHo have equipped the studio for working in the city.

Guissani also noted that the focus on buildings as investments remains largely the same in the country, but that American clients are changing the way they invest.

Lissoni said that the studio will start small and continue to operate like a “concierge” studio.

“We are like an ant,” he said, compared to massive practices like Gensler. “But a special ant.”

Lissoni, who founded Lissoni & Partners in Italy with Nicoletta Canesi in 1986, is known for his work in furniture and architecture internationally. In 2020, he released designs of a conceptual skyscraper for New York City, which would act as a “self-sufficient garden city”.

The photograph is by Valentina Sommariva.

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