In 2003, architect Alessandra Cianchetta founded AWP in Paris with partners Marc Armengaud and Matthias Armengaud; she established the London studio in 2011. RECORD asked Cianchetta five questions about AWP’s work in preparation for the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Scroll through the slideshow above to see some of their key projects.

Architectural Record: Tell us about your practice. What differentiates you from other firms?

AWP's approach is boldly creative, strongly interdisciplinary, and international. At AWP, we have always worked across many scales and many genres, at the intersection of architecture, strategic planning, landscape, and urban design.

How do you get into the creative headspace?

I find continuous inspiration in other disciplines: art, sciences, fashion, film, landscapes, and above all, travel.

Who are your design heroes?

My “heroes” are writers and explorers, rather than architects: Joseph Conrad; Alexander Von Humboldt. Among designers I do like Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, for her boldness; Carlo Mollino for his furniture and Polaroids; and Rick Owens, again, for his boldness.

What do you hope to contribute to the Chicago Biennial?

The most inspiring drawings and a discourse far beyond the usual limits of architecture.

The series of large-scale drawings and collages presented in Chicago are the continuation of a series I initially developed with the artist Ania Soliman for the Istanbul Art Biennial “Saltwater.” In Chicago, we bring this “thought project”––a project that “imagines a post-digital art institution with a communal imaginary, a utopia that would succeed the museum with fixed parameters”––further. The project concerns museology, architecture, urbanism, landscapes, and the multiple layers that make a city.

Most importantly, when it comes to pizza, deep dish or thin crust?

Thin crust, I am Italian!


The Chicago Architecture Biennial runs from September 19, 2017, to January 7, 2018. Read more of our coverage of the event here.