Delio Fois is better known as the architect-engineer. His cv is made by such a long list of events to be – in itself – a monument to his career. Soon after graduating he is at the University, again, teaching Construction Technology at the Castellamonte Institute and, form 1974, he is appointed professor of Static and Structure’s Typology at the Politecnico of Turin and, ten years later, he is Ordinary Professor of Buildings’ Adaptation and Consolidation at the same University. From 1996 to 2004 he leads the Architectural Restoration Lab, specialized in structure’s consolidation.
Above: drawings for a villa overlooking the sea in Sardinia (1967) signed by prof. Delio Fois. Opening picture: Mole Antonelliana – a drawing he made as a student.
Throughout his career, Prof. Delio Fois supervised more than 110 thesis in architecture. He wrote the majority of University texts, considered, still today, a must-read and reference for aspiring architects and professionals. His ability to translate complexity into clear, simple concepts made of each of his books a classic. His publications are on every architect’s bookshelf, ready to provide a wealth of information and solutions for every construction’s challenge. Fois loves the living matter and, for this simple reason, he chose to divide his profession between teaching and working, so that to transfer all the wealth of information matured in open field’s experience to his students.
His activity, as an architect, professor and engineer covers half a century of work, with prestigious assignment from public and private sector. His activity covers 6 pages of work, teachings, publications and ideas which is impossible to condense in one article.
We would like, on this instance, to offer a tribute to Prof. Delio Fois and say thank you for his priceless contribution and ideas that brought, step by step, to the development of the Giraffe Chair – Owan’s first and foremost project. The Giraffe Chair is a 30 ft structure which, once you climb it and seat on top of it, provides the same point of a view of a giraffe. The GC is entirely built with solid teak wood and stainless steel. It involved several challenges in terms of stability and flexibility and specific solutions in order to withstand the wide span of outdoor elements.
Above images: the Giraffe Chair’s first drawings. Prof. Delio Fois always thinks with a pencil in his hand, scribbling numbers or sketching technical solutions directly on a sheet of paper. Below: his technical drawings of the Giraffe Chair’s spherical joints, with details’ computer rendering.
Delio Fois helped Owan to solve all the project’s critical points, offering endless ideas and brilliant solutions. The final result is an architectural structure of great harmony, and a breed of its own. The Giraffe Chair is not only a genuine Owan product but also the brand’s symbolic expression. Its structure, pointing to the sky, is expression of a spiritual uplift. Owan’s philosophy is to re-establish a balance between Man and Nature. We all live in a hyper-connected, virtual environment which feels too artificial. That’s why we all need to go back to silence and nature’s contemplation.
Prof. Delio Fois, after a year spent working together, beside being our mentor, became our friend. Our working sessions were often followed by a lunch en plein air at the restaurant, where we enjoyed the regional delicacies and wines of Piemonte’s cuisine. On occasion, we listened to his stories: they described a gentle, yet daring world, cultivated but never ostentatious, and we found this matched so well with his passionate personality. Delio Fois, the architect,the engineer and the dear friend.