Matteo Cainer Architecture is an interdisciplinary practice, with a distinct conceptual approach to architecture and design. With projects that vary in scale from urban planning, landscape, building, and interiors, to the design of temporary installations, exhibition, and stage design, the work is informed by a continuously evolving dialogue with the cultural setting, nature, and the resulting intersections of different disciplines.
Established in London in 2010 and led by Matteo Cainer, the practice is committed to building and designing the highest quality projects. With a strong belief that design has the power to create change, it welcomes contamination and experimentation through both local collaboration and remote relationships, contributing thereby to sustainable solutions and the development of the practice internationally.
Composed of a small team of highly qualified and motivated individuals, we have structured ourselves with experts in urban design, architecture, landscaping and interiors. Working with multiple tools from advanced computing techniques to graphic design and model building has allowed the practice to flourish with new ambitions and renewed engagement and given us the acumen and expertise to lead each project every step of the way, always keeping an eye on the world and an ear to the ground.
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At the heart of our design philosophy is an enthusiastic ambition to creatively harness new technologies through innovative thinking - to bridge technology, art, design and nature - generating an architecture that addresses contemporary issues and evolves through concepts as a series of built ideas.
The integration of multicultural experiences with creative talent and a strong sense of spatial investigation results in an intellectually challenging and spatially complex architecture that not only responds to the existing environment, culture and politics but seeks to define an innovative vision of the future. Cultural insights with unique and visionary experiences are elaborated and woven within the projects like a ‘fil rouge’, creating a seemingly intricate architecture that is however driven by a simple, yet at times unexpected, bold idea.
Poised to take advantage of the strengths of emergent systems, we are continuously challenging and reformulating our own logic and stretching free so as to forge an elegant and contemporary vision that moves beyond the current aesthetic scene, breathing the essence of change into every project through culture, heritage, nature and inspiring philosophies.
Matteo Cainer is a practicing architect, curator, and educator. Based in London and Milano he is Principal of Matteo Cainer Architecture, Founder of the Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture in France, and Director of Architecture Whispers.
After receiving his master’s degree from the University of Architecture in Venice, Italy, he worked and collaborated with a number of celebrated international practices including Peter Eisenman in New York, CoopHimmelb(l)au in Vienna and Arata Isozaki Associati in Milan. In 2004 he was Assistant Director for the Venice Architecture Biennale - METAMORPH, and in 2006 was Curator of the London Architecture Biennale - CHANGE. It was in London that he created/directed the Design Research Studio at Fletcher Priest Architects and in June 2010 opened his own office. In 2011 he moved to Paris where he was Associate professor at the École Spéciale d’Architecture and it was there that he created and directed the 'Pavillon Spéciale' series. It was also in Paris that he conceived and hosted ‘Architecture Whispers’ and in 2013 co-founded and co-directed with Odile Decq the Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture in Lyon. In March 2018 he moves back to London and is nominated curator for the 7th Edition of the Dark Side Club for the 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venezia, and is a regular visiting critic at Westminster and the AA. In March of 2020 to respond to the pandemic, he launches MCA Online a free educational initiative to provide lectures, teaching, and support to home-bound students, and at the end of the year, he opens MCA in Milano.
MCA team: the following architects have been contributing to various office projects:
Chiara Antonelli, Elena Balossino, Francesca Biasco, Nina Bobinac, Teresa Cancellari, Sara Carciotti, Caterina Cicognani, Maria Antonietta Cossu, Futura Falco, Iolanda Fortunato, Giulia Gatti, Bogdan Gavriliu, Marilena Georgantzi, Alessia Gerardi, Zlatina Kalaydzhieva, Valentina Leodori, Vasiliki Mavrikaki, Giulia Mazza, Francesco Maria Messina, Edouard Molinari, Yo Murata, Daniella Persson, Avigael Perez, John Robins, Helene Roncerel, Giuliana Sibilia, Barbara Stefán, Evonne Tam, Claire Tournier, Tam Nhan Tran, Nike Vogrinec.
Collaborations / Membership
To better nourish talent within the practice, our teams are in constant dialogue with our consultants. Architecture and the pleasure of experimentation and research is the goal of our practice, and the very nature of Architecture demands collaboration with multidisciplinary teams of experts ranging from engineers to landscape architects and designers.
Quantity Surveyor/ Cost consultants
Gleeds (United Kingdom)
*Matteo Cainer is a licensed architect in Italy and France.
Various projects of Matteo Cainer Architecture have received nominations, won design awards and been finalists in international competitions. Furthermore, in 2010 the practice was selected at the London Architecture festival as one of 25 young international emerging practices.
WA Design Award
Red dot Nomination
The work of the practice has been featured in various exhibitions with sketches, models and digital prints. Furthermore, it was part of the London Architecture festival in the show 25 select 25 as a young international emerging practice.
Gingerbread City 2019, Somerset House - London, UK
Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum Park - Landscape and park project
III Architecture Pisa Biennale 2019 - Pisa, IT
Sant’Antonio Musicale, Trieste Italy
Birnbeck Island, Weston Super Mare, UK
Royal Academy of Arts 2019 Summer Exhibition - London, UK
1/50 model of La Forêt Urbaine- Paris, France
Spazio Campo - Rome, IT
Digital Print - Brutal Beauty - Architecture is Everything 1968-2018
“UN ARCHITECTE UN PROJET” ESA - Paris, FR
Boards and model of MOCAPE Museum - Shenzhen, China