ritratto architetto micol maiga con il cane

About Me

Micol Maiga, architect and great lover of nature, animals, travel, and the pleasures of life.

Since 2002, I have been working in the family business, an engineering and architecture studio started by my grandfather, engineer Emilio Maiga in the early 1950s and run by my father, architect Sergio Maiga.

The studio has always been my point of reference: from my grandfather, I learned that “everything is feasible in construction”, which is why I don’t settle for the first solutions, but look for the best. I often exchange views with my father, especially when it comes to procedures and town planning.  


A house is not just a space.

I have always been fascinated by old family houses that have been handed down for generations and our old property in Filicaia in Garfagnana has been a source of inspiration. Still today, thinking back to my childhood, I relive the atmosphere of those places: I bear in mind the smells, the colours, the flavours. I try to convey these sensations in the new projects that I feel like real installations, my forms of expression.

My journeys are another great source of inspiration: I always stop to observe the construction details or finishes, whether they are ancient buildings rich in history or modern buildings, such as hotels or shopping centres.

Feel the places.

My inspirations must respect the sense of responsibility towards the environment and are always contextualized in space. Architecture in the context of recovery or new projects is ineffable and always has an exceptional character: whether it speaks the delicate, complex language of building recovery and restoration, adopting the criteria of adaptability, or whether it is a new construction that must fit into its context, enhancing and enriching it.

The first step to be taken is to learn to know and “feel” those places: it is important to stop and look and listen, to immerse oneself in the perceptions of their characteristics and potential. Only then comes the “vision” that is the image, the architectural dream. In the same way, the work must be done by getting to know and understand the people who will have to live in those spaces: the house is the largest and most complex tailor-made suit that can be created.

At ease.

The design (whether it concerns indoor or outdoor spaces, a façade or the distribution of a flat) should not only give an aesthetic form to the spaces we use every day, but also place value on the experience we live in the designed spaces.

This is why I let clients guide me through their world, without imposing my style at all costs. Their doubts must become my challenges to convince them that they will find certainty in my sketches and ideas.

Sometimes, I send a short questionnaire to my clients, which helps me to better understand their expectations and wishes. Another shared tool is moodboards, i.e. visual boards that the clients use to show me their ideas, putting together images cut out from magazines or saved on Pinterest boards.

I don’t like provocations, but sometimes I feel I have to dare, because without imagination I couldn’t do this job. My job is not to surprise or distort the initial idea, but to make the clients feel at ease and accompany them throughout the project, from bureaucracy to certifications; from assistance in choosing the best technologies for their expectations and needs, up to the aesthetic choices of the finishes.

The search for materials.

I find it stimulating and a great responsibility to give life to new constructions. From my point of view, in order to do it in the best possible way, continuous research is vital: on the one hand, artistic research and, on the other, research into materials, in order to know how they are processed and how they can be adapted.

I always look for inspiration at trade fairs in the sector and I often find excellent suggestions wandering around the markets and the French flea markets, as well as in prestigious art galleries, in Italy and abroad. Often the idea comes from a detail and I am happy when I can reuse the objects to make them shine again.

Passions and sharing.

I love my work, but I firmly believe that, in order to keep enthusiasm and passion alive, it is right to cultivate other interests too: my family and my house, my garden, my countryside and my animals, I love doing sport and travelling.

I have been horse riding since I was a child, I love skiing and long trekking in the mountains. I also love the sea, exploring the surface on a sailing boat or diving and getting to know the inhabitants and the depths.

As regards my private life, I am Elisabeth’s mother and married to Andrea, who is also an architect and is particularly involved in the logistical and organisational aspects of construction. Ours, one might say, is a bond that also embraces work: we always swap ideas to have another vision of my projects.

I share with my family a passion for organising a big event for my city: Rallye Sanremo. Unlike my father, I have never raced in a car, but I have been actively involved in the event for over 25 years now. Keeping up the traditions and the enhancement of the territory are part of my nature and I regard this as my duty towards the city.

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