Talents of Architecture 2016

A thirty-four-year-old engineer, founder of design company Spatialconnection(s), with offices in Viterbo and Jeddah.
Architecture can be many things: a way of looking at space, a vision of the world or a point of equilibrium between functionality and beauty. It can also be a form of resistance against the power of nature, or, as Jean Baudrillard put it, a “mixture of nostalgia and extreme anticipation”. For Dario Donato, a thirty-four-year old engineer who trained with Massimiliano Fuksas and Erick van Egeraat and is the owner of a company with offices in Viterbo and Saudi Arabia, it is primarily an art. Indeed, the greatest of all the visual arts.
For him, this means designing buildings not just in order to build them. Designing them means forcing your imagination through a series of constraints and mathematical calculations, making it develop via a process in which environmental conditions, financial resources and technological feasibility affect and determine the final aesthetic of what you are trying to accomplish. It is perhaps for this reason that he feels the closest art to architecture is his other great passion, fashion photography – the kind of photography where everything is planned and assembled, and whose power doesn’t derive from a detail of life caught by chance but from the geometric rigour of a set of poses. All this is clearly visible in his projects: the master plan for the Nova Cityvillage in Jeddah, for example, or the Gourmet complex in Molewa, or the Südtirol pavilion for the 2015 Expo. In all of them it’s evident how the harmony of form is inseparable from the context around them, even when that harmony comes from the contrast between black and white, light and shadow, and transparency and opacity, as in the case of Perfect Dream Hotel, also in Jeddah. This is the core of Dario’s vision: the ability to combine beauty and emotion with the coldness of mathematical calculation – mathematical creativity, as he calls it. Aesthetics are not a question of inspiration, you see, but of accuracy, just like in a photograph by Helmut Newton or Herb Ritts. (text written by Giorgio Nisini)