Bruno Pirro | Sensory Architecture Competition winner’s interview

Sensory Architecture – An Essay is an international Architectural essay competition organised by Archiol. 

We are proud to announce our winners, check the announcement here

Bruno is one of our top 3 winners

Winners Details:

Name:  Bruno Cardoso de Almeida Pirro

Essay Title:  Fear of the Water House

Position: Top 3

Bruno, 26 years old, lives in São Paulo - Brazil, and studies architecture since 2018. Seeking inspiration in films and music, loves phenomenology and tries to use the senses to design your own projects in architecture university.


1. Can you introduce yourself in a personal and professional way?

My name is Bruno Pirro, I am 26 years old and I live in São Paulo – Brazil. I have worked in two offices until today, where I had the opportunity to work with different projects and different scales.

I have a great connection with music since I was a little child. Music, films, and videogames have always been a passion. The atmosphere created around these things is just amazing and captivating and I always wanted to create these sensations too. When I decided to enter architecture, I found myself, because, as I said in the essay, you can listen to a song that you love, watch a good film, play video game and eat your favorite food, but you can’t dwell in those things. Because of that I truly believe that architecture is the supreme form of art.


2. What is your design philosophy?

Well, I believe I am still in the process of understanding and learning about architecture and all its shapes and design. For now, my philosophy is based on the senses, on inhabiting and being inhabited. Being the intermediary of this relationship between man and the building. Understand what feeling your client is looking for, and how to bring those feelings that the person needs to the surface and work with it, in a way that the building manages and deals with those feelings creating a unique atmosphere.


3. What was your feeling when the winners were announced?

It feels so great. When I saw it, I didn’t believe that was true. I didn’t imagine that I could be among the top ones, it’s so amazing and unbelievable. It was the first time that I participated in an architecture contest all by myself and I am very happy with the result. Thank you all for that. 


4. Can you briefly explain your essay writing process, the source of ideas and, your understanding of the topic?

I read a lot about sensory architecture and phenomenology in the last 3 years. I thought a lot if I use some the ideas and concepts of the books that I read about but, in the end, I realize that for the first time I could wright about what I believe and the conclusions that I made until today based in my own experiences. So, I let myself free to write what it felt right to be written. I just opened the file, looked at the image, played Fear of The Water by Syml and let the things happen naturally.
It’s a personal text, it was a personal writing, it’s about my believes, my thoughts, and my feelings. I am very grateful to have approached the topic in this way, because looking back today I don’t believe there was a better way to do this.


5. When and how you were first introduced to the topic of Sensory Architecture?

My girlfriend is an architect and we always talk about everything that rounds the architecture. I’m a very sentimental person, so it didn’t take too long to get to the theme of sensory architecture. I started questioning about the supremacy of the vision and researching the topic.
When I took the subject to the classroom, my professor suggested me to read The Eyes Of The Skin – Pallasmaa and my whole world turns to upside down. I start to read all about Pallasmaa and he became, in some ways, my teacher. After that, I searched for Zumthor, Gaston Bachellard, Ponty and every single text that phenomenology is in it.
That’s how it started.


6. What measures will you take/ taking to introduce the philosophy of sensory architecture to practice?

In a way, it’s relatively easy to use phenomenology when you’re designing something for yourself or for someone of your imagination. The real challenge is to use the senses and phenomenology for someone with feelings, dreams, fears that you may not know yet.

So, I believe that knowing your client and understanding how he would like to feel is essential to develop a good project, and it’s the best way to work with sensory architecture.

Following that thought, I always try to know how the client would like to feel, understanding the moment in life that he is right now, his dreams, history and feelings. I think that the most important thing that you can ask is “how do you want to feel?”. In my opinion, without this it is impossible to make a design that the client can really dwell, because architecture is art and art is always about feeling.


The essay is published in the Ebook published by archiol along with other 27 essays. You can read all the essays here

Archiol congratulates Bruno and wishes him success in his future endeavors!!

Fear of the Water House
Fear of the Water House

by Bruno Pirro

Fear of the Water House
Fear of the Water House

by Bruno Pirro


©Bruno Pirro