Tommaso Principi was born in 1970, he studies engineering at Università degli Studi di Bologna and architecture at Università degli Studi di Genova where he graduated in 1999 with Prof. Enrico D. Bona.
After the diploma in Sistemi Video at Università degli Studi di Genova, he mades several feature films between 1995 and 1998.He worked with Renzo Piano from 1997 to 1999.
In 2000 he established OBR Open Building Research with Paolo Brescia from the idea of researching new ways of living, working within the confluence of architecture, landscape and environment.
From 2007 to 2008 he coordinates the International Workshop ICAMP for the Sustainable Developmement of Stretto di Messina, Italy.He is professor in charge at Università di Genova in 2008.
He lectures widely including at Kent State University, Politecnico of Milan, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, University of Messina, University of Bologna.He was invited in 2006 to participate at the 10th Biennale di Venezia and in 2007 at the V Bienal de Arquitetura de Brasília and at the XI Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura de Buenos Aires.In 2007 he was awarded by the RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects of London with the honorable mention “AR Awards for Emerging Architecture” and he is presented at the London exhibition “Architecture: Where to”.
In 2008 he won the “Plusform” award for the best architecture realized by young architect under 40, the “Urbanpromo” prize by INU Istituto Nazionale Urbanistica at the Biennale di Venezia and he is invited at the AR Award Exhibition in Berlin, Budapest and Seul. In 2009 he was honourable mention finalist for the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture by Triennale di Milano and invited to take part at the China International Architectural Expo in Beijing.
In 2010 his projects were showed at the “Better City, Better Life” exhibition at the Shanghai International Expo and awarded with the Europe 40 Under 40 prize in Madrid.In 2011 he received in Rome the In/Arch and Ance premium for the best realized project designed by young architect and he is awarded in London with the overall Leaf Award.
In 2012 he won the WAN Awards Residential in London and the Green Good Design Award in Chicago.
OBR Open Building Research has been established in 2000 with the idea of researching new ways of living creating a design network between Genoa, London and New York, later extended to Hong Kong, Mumbai, Accra.
The Team of OBR develops the experimental line through the participation in international big budget projects involved in private & public partnership in newly advanced urban development countries.
The research by OBR is focused on urban design producing widened benefits in the city and promoting – through architecture – the sense of community and the individual identities of the final users.
The founding partners Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi have been working together with Renzo Piano. They link their working experience with the academic world as guest professor at Kent State University, Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, Helsinki Aalto University, University of Oulu, Academy of Architecture of Mumbai, College of Architecture of Pune, Politecnico di Milano, Luiss, La Sapienza, Università di Messina, Università di Trieste, Mimar Sinan Fine Art University of Istanbul and Hacettepe University in Ankara.
Since 2004 OBR has been evolving its design parameters according to the environmental and energy certification LEED Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and since 2009 OBR is partner of the GBC Green Building Council.
The projects of OBR have been shown widely, including at 10th Biennale di Venezia (2006), Architecture: Where to, London (2007), V Bienal de Arquitetura in Brasilia (2007), XI Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura in Buenos Aires (2007), AR Award Exhibition in Berlin, Budapest and Seul (2008), China International Architectural Expo in Beijing (2009), Shanghai International Expo (2010) and UIA 24th World Congress of Architecture di Tokyo (2011).
OBR has been awarded with AR Awards honourable mention for Emerging Architecture at the RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects in London (2007), Plusform award for Best architecture realized by young architect under 40 (2008), Urbanpromo by INU Istituto Nazionale Urbanistica at 11th Biennale di Venezia (2008), honourable mention finalist for the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture at Triennale di Milano (2009), Europe 40 Under 40 in Madrid (2010), In/Arch and Ance premium in Rome for the best realised project in Italy designed by young architect (2011), Leaf Leading European Architect Forum Award in London (2011), WAN Awards Residential in London (2012) and Green Good Design Award in Chicago (2012).