Architecture and Community in Bologna

by Petia Stoykova

Maintaining an awareness of our surroundings is especially important in the work of a designer because it helps us orient ourselves in the world. We found out about different approaches to understanding and handling space during a field trip to Bologna, where we explored the architectural studio of Mario Cucinella and the MAST museum.



At Mario Cucinella’s studio, we better understood the careful attention to sustainability, which is what the studio is most well-known for. Although every project has distinct and specific characteristics, a shared commonality between them is the consideration for the environment. This defines the design of each building. The company researches the location as well as local culture and resources, meaning that it fundamentally develops a building that can function in an exclusive setting. This approach to sustainability not only improves the way in which the building is utilized, but also maximizes the quality of life in reference to the local community.

Considering the community when creating architecture is also present in the MAST foundation. This is a project that was designed by STUDIO LABICS for COESIA group, headquartered in Bologna. The architecture of MAST strives to create a shared area where the industry can connect with the residents of the city. A ramp leading to the entrance connects both environments and welcomes the community. This area has a variety of functions such as to increase the comfort of the factory workers as well as to help inform the public about the machine industry.

The interior is designed to hold conferences and exhibitions, which are updated every few months. The museum welcomes children, too, with a variety of interactive games. All this allows for both the public and the company to come together in a common space. MAST strives to redefine the way factory life is perceived.

Working alongside our environments and accordingly creating considerate spaces is key to developing meaningful design. Both the architecture studio and the museum bear in mind the local space, even though they have adopted different practical approaches. The emphasis placed on the local features ultimately establishes a new language between community and design.



Petia Stoykova


Petia Stoykova is working towards her bachelor’s degree in Interior Design as a full time student at Marist-LdM in Florence. Apart from blogging, she also interns at Centro Studi Poltronova, an iconic Italian design studio. After graduation, she hopes to work for an established design firm.