Claudio Silvestrin


‘Minimalism is not a style, it is an attitude, a way of being. It’s a fundamental reaction against noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance. It is the persistent search for purity, the search for serenity, for silence as a presence, for the thickness of spaces, for space as immensity. Minimalism is beyond time - ­it is timelessness, it is noble and simple materials, it is the stillness of perfection. It has to be the being itself, uncovered by useless crusts, not naked but completely defined by itself, by its being.


In his own words, “Strong but not intimidating,” “Elegant but not ostentatious,” and in the words of William Shakespeare in Hamlet, “Elegant but not extravagant,” the work of Claudio Silvestrin is all of this at its best. With a lyrical sense that reminds me of the poet Montale, a serenity that brings to mind the work of Piero della Francesca and the strength of mediaeval architecture, Silvestrin’s work is Mediterranean in its essence, noble and peasant, intellectual and sensitive, solar and silent. Made of stucco and stone, the sun casting lazy shadows, the air rarefied by spaces that know no distance, his houses are for the spirit to expand in, to discover its boundaries, to become a thing.


Better than anyone else in the world today, Silvestrin is the master of perfect details. His genes are rooted in a culture of architectural refinement. His is not pursuing novelty per se, it is we that perceive his work as novel, since no one has brought out the essence of things and delivered them to us better than he. As our great master Mies Van Der Rohe used to say, “I do not want to be interesting, I want to be good.


Silvestrin has created a precise grammar and developed a syntax that transcends language to become the poetry of harmonious spaces, where light and shadows bathe and bounce on the stone surfaces or softly diffuse on sanded glass.


Some of Silvestrin’s best work is still on paper, or in the process of being built. Drawing and models disclose beautiful buildings of power and elegance, memorable experiences of extended spaces and eloquent silences. I can hardly wait.’


Massimo Vignelli

Addendum to Franco Bertoni “Claudio Silvestrin”

Book publisher Birkhauser, Basel 1999