My job requires awareness, first of all. If you are not aware of where and how you work, architecture becomes a mere formal exercise, academy, empty form. My awareness is to perceive the fragility of the place we live, not to shape it at my own imagination but to fully respect it. My land becomes a primary source of inspiration, not my punishment. Also, my choice is free, not indoctrination. It may seem kind of weird, since my orientation has been primarily intended on renovation and restoration works of existing buildings, and my natural commitment in a country like Italy where historic buildings are an important feature of the cultural heritage in its entirety. I don’t dislike the idea of the construction of a building ex novo, it’s like a blank page on which you transfigure your Ego; turning your thoughts into accessible language is always a challenge, but I believe that it is not exciting enough, when I think about what another man has already made: everywhere – and often meaningless – overbuilding. I’m much more interested in the opportunity of improving the existing buildings, of making them fit in more with the surrounding landscape and also more livable: this has slowly become the main rule of my modus operandi. Ancient buildings pulsate on the breath from the earth; they have a story to tell and fearless courage in dealing with time; those buildings fear only those who do not understand them, who want to make a fake – “a brand new old”, just to quote one of my professors at the University of Venice. It is necessary to pay attention to all kinds of buildings, to the place where they are located, to the material you will use; you should imagine who will live there, and evaluate their energy efficiency, too. I am not interested in beauty, in itself. It is not a fertile ground at all; it leads to nihil, to nothingness. I prefer to combine beauty with goodness, and the livability. Beauty and livability are combined together in human existence, and although together they need to develop; otherwise you may not understand the real needs of people, and above all their desires. When I am in charge of a restoration project I usually stop for a moment and think, I inspect several times the location; I breathe, listen and try to get the real essence from the place. If the house already exists, I try to understand its messages, in silence and with no hurry I wait for the building to communicate its joy and also its suffering. Architecture is alive, most of all. And courageous.