open office for architecture based in Milano

Paolo Catrambone is an Italian Architect, a graduate of the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio and the Polytechnic University of Turin. From 2013 to 2015, he worked in Lisbon at the offices of Gonçalo Byrne and João Nunes before moving to Tokyo in 2017 for a collaboration with the SANAA studio of Kazuyo Semina and Ryue Nishizawa. After relocating to Switzerland in 2018, he worked until 2021 as a Project Architect at the studio of Jacques Herzog and Pierre DeMeuron in Basel, Switzerland.

Maria Ave Romani is an Italian Architect, graduated from the Universidade Autonoma de Lisboa and the Polytechnic University of Milan. She worked in Lisbon at the studios of Manuel Aires Mateus, Pedro Reis, and João Nunes before moving to Milan in 2017 for collaboration with Architect Francesco Adorni. From 2018 to 2021, she moved to Switzerland, working as an Architect at MET Architects in Basel and Atelier Peter Zumthor in Haldenstein.

ORTUS was founded by Architects Paolo Catrambone and Maria Ave Romani in 2022 in Basel, ORTUS is an Architecture studio and research platform operating between Italy and Switzerland. Since 2023, based in Milan, the studio adopts a generalist approach to Architectural practice, focusing on research across a broad spectrum of projects in urban, landscape, and territorial contexts. Under the name of studio orto, In 2019, the studio was honored with the NIB award, recognizing it as one of the top ten emerging Italian studios.

ORTUS is currently involved in diverse projects in Italy, including the new Nursery School for the Municipality of Molinella in the province of Bologna, the new auditorium for the Vivaldi Conservatory in Alessandria, the multipurpose center for the Municipality of Civago in the province of Reggio Emilia, and two residential projects in the cities of Asti and Alba in Piedmont, both focused on the transformation and conversion of existing buildings. The studio regularly participates in international architecture competitions independently or in collaboration with similar professional entities, aiming to build a broad open platform for sharing work. In 2022, ORTUS won two third prizes for the Futura competition for new schools and a special mention for the Grande MAXXI competition, an extension of the Roman museum. In 2024, the studio received the first prize for the new building of IULM University in Milan, co-authored with Cino Zucchi Architetti.

ORTUS combines professional practice with ongoing academic research initiated in 2019 at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, in Switzerland, with teaching positions held under professors Joao Luis Carrilho da Graca, Eva Prats, and Muck Petzet. Starting from 2024, academic involvement extends to the Polytechnic University of Milan under the guidance of Professor Pedro Campos Costa.