Michele Saee

Architect (1956)

Michele Saee belongs to that generation of American architects engaged in a movement involving the formal dissolution of modernist culture. His architecture threatens the classical notions of discipline (plan, surface), and the traditional techniques of construction. Using an architecture of fracture and fold, somewhere between obsessive repetitiveness of the line and anatomical analogy of the curve, Saee’s projects use the paths of a renewed biomorphism to experiment with novel and unconscious relations between body, context, and architecture.  Worked by time, his projects seem as if unstable and in a state of unfinishedness, not unlike assemblages of floating forms and successive envelopes of a composite and moving body. Freed from all formal typology, his houses (Artist Studio, Golzari House, Meivsahna House) are presented like actual sculptural surfaces, where matter and light interact to create a space open to dialogue with the inhabitant: an architecture of sensation, beyond any architectural order and any programmatic determination.

Michele Saee (Tehran, 1956) graduated from the Florence School of Architecture in 1981. After working in Italy for Superstudio, then in the United States for Morphosis, he opened the Building Inc Agency in 1985 in Los Angeles, soon followed by new offices in Paris and Beijing. A teacher, theoretician and prize-winning builder, Saee has worked in the United States (Trattoria Angeli, Los Angeles 1987; Ecru Store, Los Angeles, 1988…), in Italy (International Centre for Comparative Cultural Studies, Sardinia, 1999-2003), in France (Drugstore Publicis, Paris, 2003; Café Nescafe, Paris, 2002), and more recently in Asia. A monograph about him was published in 1997 (Michele Saee: Building & Projects). His projects are regularly shown in exhibitions (ArchiLab, 1999; Venice Biennale, 2002 and 2004; Beijing Biennale, 2004).

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