Friends before work colleagues
Rome, IT

Orizzontale is an architects’ collective based in Rome, established in 2010 by Jacopo Ammendola, Juan Lopez Cano, Giuseppe Grant, Margherita Manfra, Nasrin Mohiti Asli, Roberto Pantaleoni and Stefano Ragazzo after a period of incubation of ideas. Today their work is a collaborative practice across the fields of architecture, urbanism, public art, and DIY practice.


Starting out with great momentum

In 2010 after a period of incubation of ideas, small actions and visions, we participated in a European funds competition called "Youth in Action”, the project we submitted was “KIUI", a Kit for Instant Urban Interaction. The project had the ambition to work with low budget tools and activities to organise four actions over a period of a year. Eventually we won the funds and were able to organise three public actions and one final international workshop.

This first more articulate project proved very useful in defining the founding nucleus of the collective, as the seven people we were, together collecting resources and energies, building new, stronger synergies as our tools. That’s up to this day still our lead!


A generous prize in the beginning

Once upon a time, in 2011, after we’d been working by ourselves for two years, searching for an alternative professional approach on working in public space in Rome, through small-scale self-financed project, we came across Roskilde Festival and heard that the organisers would come to Rome for a culture financing event. They invited us to participate. As lucky as we were, we met them and presented our story. After a short time, they contacted us and offered a generous € 1,000 fund – for some reason they believed in us.

That was the money that allowed us to form the first association and to start thinking about our studio space. They gifted us with so much more than just a fund.


Clear organisation gives way to efficient collaboration

We are a heterogeneous group formed over the years, we know each other well and we consider ourselves friends before work colleagues. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it complicates work in the studio a bit. The balance between us is very important, we organise ourselves with daily mutual mediation and collaboration on various aspects of collective work management. The key to our serenity is clear organisation of the collective work on our shared calendar! This certainly also helps us to keep track of our private lives. Thank you Internet!


Hierarchy neither in the team nor in the space

Our studio used to be a carpentry shop, we call it "La Segheria" and it is divided into three main spaces of which two are dedicated to our work. The construction workshop and the design studio are the two souls of our daily work. For us there is no hierarchy between these two activities as much as there is no hierarchy between us, the space is always evolving and it changes according to our needs. As said we don’t have a hierarchy between us, yet tasks and responsibility are well defined within our organisation: communication, economic management and coordination of the work are just some of our internal tasks.


Experimentation welcomes multiple results

From the start we never really had clear expectations, because our context’s reactions have always been an unknown factor to be discovered! Working in the field of experimentation any result was potentially welcome, even when the objective was not fully achieved. We made a lot of mistakes along the way, but after all, it’s always a good reason to re-evaluate our work and improve ourselves. We will keep on thinking so!


Making the collective grow slowly

Our dreams? They are more like stories we try to leave with an open end. The only wish? Making the collective grow, collaborating with other realities and reaching bigger scales of interventions, so bigger goals. We want to continue our way, we hope to do this without losing curiosity and without ever falling too far from our research roots. 

Our winning recipe is still to cook and eat together!

orizzontale team

Photography Courtesy of Orizzontale

Gondwana 900px 96dpi Orizzontale info

Photography Luca Chiaudano


Photography Alessandro Imbriaco

Iceberg 900px 96dpi Orizzontale info

Photography Luca Chiaudano

a project powered by Itinerant Office

subscribe to our newsletter

follow us