Based in Rome, LABICS is an architectural and urban planning practice founded in 2002 by Maria Claudia Clemente and Francesco Isidori. The name of the practice – Labics – expresses the concept of a laboratory, a testing ground for advanced ideas. Combining the theoretical approach with applied research, the field of interest of the office extends from the interior small scale to the scale of urban masterplans, going through the different scales and complexities of the project.
Since the beginning, Labics’ work has captured the attention of critics and journalists, and the practice is now firmly established among the new generation of Italian architects.
In December 2003, just a year after the practice was founded, the US journal Architectural Record positioned Labics as one of the most important architectural talents to emerge in recent years in its Design Vanguard issue.
Participation in design competitions has always been an important activity within the practice, allowing experimentation with new typologies and techniques. Labics has won several national and international architectural competitions, including CDU, a mixed-use university building for medical education in Rozzano (2003-2004); the MAST (Manufactory for Art, Innovation and Technology) in Bologna (2006-2013) and the Città del Sole development in Rome (2007-2016). The last two competitions lead to commissions for two significant mixed-use buildings, with the practice responsible for all phases of the design.
Recently Labics has received the honourable mention for the Guggenheim Museum Helsinki competition and the Klekovaca Tourist Centre competition in Bosnia and has won the 2ndprize in the international competition for the design of the station no. 11 for the underground of Tabriz (2016).
In 2017 Labics and has won an important invited competition for four residential buildings within the Cascina Merlata masterplan in Milan.
Labics has experienced projects over a wide range of scales and contexts, and has a particular interest in the contemporary city and in the relation among architecture, urban structure and public space; those kind of research characterize project such as the masterplan Le Serre in Tirana (2005), currently under construction, the Centralità urbana di Torre Spaccata (2012-2014) a large mixed-use masterplan for one of the 18 urban ‘centralities’ identified in Rome’s overall development plan, the masterplan for the Manifattura Tabacchi in Napoli in 2014 and the more recent project for the regeneration of historical centre of Wuhu and Rudong in China.
Labics’s interest in the relation among city and public space has also been developed through the theoretical research project on Rome, Borderline Metropolis, which was exhibited at the 11° Venice Architecture Biennale.
In contrast to those major projects, Labics has completed over time a number of schemes on a smaller scale – private residences, offices, and restaurant interiors- demonstrating the capacity of controlling smaller scale and the quality of the detail. Some of those have received awards such as, Podere 43 project — the renovation and extension of a country house in Tuscany — and the office headquarters for communications agency Italpromo & Libardi Associati in Rome.
From 2003 to 2015 the practice has been responsible for the general concept, interior design and architecture of Obikà, a high-end international chain of bars and restaurants specializing in Italian food, including projects in Milan, New York, Rome, London, Turin, Florence, Kuwait City and Tokyo.
In the past few years the office gained several awards, especially with MAST in Bologna, Fontana square in Rozzano and “La città del Sole” in Rome. MAST and Città del Sole have been both selected for the Mies van der Rohe Awards.
Labics has been invited to partecipate to several collective exhbitions, among which the 11°, 12° and 14° Venice Architectural Biennale; his work has been exhibited in two monographic exhibitions: “Structures” held at Studio Stefania Miscetti in Rome and “La Città Aperta” at the Italian Cultural Institute in Berlino and Laboratorio Casabella, Milano (2015).
For further information visit LABICS’s website.
all exhibitions by LABICS with STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI.