Gaetano Pesce

ITALY (1939)

“I strive to seek new materials that fit into the logic of construction, while performing services appropriate to real needs.” –Gaetano Pesce


Gaetano Pesce is principal of the New York City-based international architecture and design firm Pesce Ltd., which undertakes diverse commissions in architecture, urban planning, interior and exhibition design, industrial design and publishing. In more than 30 years of practice, Pesce has conceived public and private projects in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, from residences to gardens and corporate offices. Pesce’s extensive body of work, recognized for its emotive and tactile qualities, unrestrained use of color and insistence upon innovative building materials developed through new technologies, was described by prominent architecture critic Herbert Muschamp as “the architectural equivalent of a brainstorm.”


Born in La Spezia, Italy, in 1939, Pesce was trained at the University of Venice Faculty of Architecture. He has lived and worked in New York since 1980; previously, he resided in Paris for 15 years, which directly influenced the internationalism of his approach. Pesce has served as a visiting lecturer and professor at many prestigious institutions in America and abroad, including the Cooper Union in New York. He is currently a faculty member at the Institut d’Architecture et d’Etudes Urbaines in Strasbourg. His work has been the subject of numerous publications and exhibitions, and in 1996 he was honored with both a comprehensive career retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the publication of the seminal volume Gaetano Pesce: Le temps des questions. Pesce was the recipient of the influential Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design in 1993.


On the subject of his work, Pesce has said: “For the past 30 years, I have been trying to give architecture back its capacity to be ‘useful,’ by quoting recognizable, figurative images commonly associated with street life and popular culture, and by generating new typologies. I strive to seek new materials that fit into the logic of construction, while performing services appropriate to real needs. Architecture of the recent past has mostly produced cold, anonymous, monolithic, antiseptic, standardized results that are uninspiring. I have tried to communicate feelings of surprise, discovery, optimism, stimulation and originality.”


Pesce is closely linked with innovative clients such as B&B Italia, Cassina and Vitra International, and he has created a home design collection called Open Sky. His architectural work, which can be seen across the globe, includes the Organic Building in Osaka; the Gallery Mourmans in Knokke-le-Zoute in Belgium; and the Ruth Shuman residence in New York City.

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