The exhibition provids an exclusive glimpse into the personal “domestic rooms” of 8 of the world’s most respected architects: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain/Studio Mumbai.
Zaha Hadid‘s open-space London home features Russian artist El Lissitzky on the walls, while David Chipperfield’s Berlin residence echoes the city’s cold concrete design.
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s home was built around the trees of Hanegi Forest, while Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan resides on the 12th floor of a building he designed in 1980.
The series also includes homes from Daniel Libeskind ( New York ) , Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas ( Paris ) , Mario Bellini ( Milan ) , and Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai ( Mumbai ).
Normally we get to admire the stunning designs offered by the world’s top architects – from private residences to skyscrapers and Olympic stadiums. This time we can have a glimpse into their own private domestic domains
The concept underlying the event rests in the conviction that, of all design disciplines, domestic architecture is the most predisposed to evolution and the most suited to experimentation, given its capacity to conjugate architecture and design.
An iconic and paradigmatic reading of the architects’ “rooms,” within the context of the home as a theme, will trigger crosscutting reflection on the modes, experiences and trends of contemporary living.
Richard Rogers’ affirmation that “a room is the beginning of a city” resonates with the project’s aim in trying to articulate its subjects’ personal tastes and obsessions, and how those are reflected in their architectural work
The curator of the event, Francesca Molteni – who curated “Design Dance” with Michela Marelli (2012) and “A celestial bathroom” (2010) – has been privy to the private homes of eight of the greatest exponents of the architectural world, filming the exteriors and domestic spaces and recording an interview with each of them on the visions, triggers and decisions that have steered their design and professional careers.
She and the architect and scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, who has been exploring representational space and working with leading international opera theatres, devised a project that recreates the private “rooms” by means of real-life videos, images, sounds, comments and reconstructions.
Francesca filmed each architect’s home, and interviewed them about their lives and careers.
It’s a cliche that architects have messy workspaces. From chaos comes creation, so the phrase goes.
However Francesca came away with one finding: architects are actually quite tidy.
The studios are all pristinely ordered; books are neatly stowed away, figurines and objets astutely displayed, and table tops swept clean.
The photographs( shown below ) are part of the exhibition materials, produced with the help of scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, which faithfully document the physical environments in images, video, and audio – creating an interactive space that unveils the architects’ visions of living and uncovers their choices and their obsessions
MASSIMILIANO & DORIANA FUKSAS.
The minimalist space is filled with original Jean Prouvé furniture, plus artworks that range, in Molteni’s description, “from Fontana to Paladino.
A table, a window, a royal square, statues and horses.
On the threshold, antique warriors stand guard over the house and protect it, like custodians awaiting the return of its travelling architects.
The British architect David Chipperfield relocated to Berlin after accepting the job to restore and rebuild the Neues Museum in 1997. (The project was completed in 2008, but Chipperfield stayed on in the German capital in the same neighbourhood ( Mitte ) ).
The house is built of concrete, with large windows overlooking the street and the courtyard.
In the courtyard that contains both his house and his studio, Chipperfield also designed a canteen, a place where locals meet.
The interiors’ austere concrete walls are counterbalanced by two colors, Molteni says, represented by “the green of a velvet sofa and the orange of a bookcase that divides the space between the kitchen and the sitting room.”
It contains a few ‘50s and ‘60s Italian furnishings, and two colours.
Zaha describes herself as a gypsy, of no fixed abode. “I’m hardly ever at my house”
Her memories lie in her childhood home in Baghdad, but she now lives in an open space in London, as dazzling as her smile.
Light filters in from a skylight, flooding the space, even on rainy day.
On the backwall are Hadid’s early-period neo-Suprematist drawings, which take their cues from revolutionary Soviet formalists like El Lissitzky and Malevich; opposite them are more recent works highlighting ZHA‘s curvaceous, parametric turn of the last several years
Then there is a multitude of portraits, pieces of furniture and objects, shapes that define the space, marking out a new avant-garde, Zaha Hadid’s style.
Zaha Hadid’s London studio is filled with works that span the entirety of the architect’s storied career.
After travelling the world, from Poland to Tel Aviv, from the Bronx to Berlin, by way of Milan and Detroit, Daniel chose New York as his home.
Tribeca is just a hop and a skip from Ground Zero.
Molteni describes the Libeskind residence as a “refuge” from the hustle-and-bustle of Manhattan life.
And a table, with red legs and a granite top, built when there was less history to cart about, which has followed the family throughout its lengthy journey to Manhattan.
Relatively sparse, the brightly-lit apartment has a few Le Corbusier chairs, a coffee table, work desk, and not much else.
That is, besides “books, books, and more books,” Molteni says
“The challenge,” Molteni writes, “was to avoid pulling down a single tree in the forest and to build a house around them.”
Shigeru Ban’s home is in this building, which stands immobile in a tranquil Tokyo district.
The house is riddled with ovoid-shaped cutouts which help to accomplish this goal, while also letting in generous amount of daylight and views. Ban’s working area consists of a few evocative objects: a round table, a Terragni chair, a Greek bust, all set against a massive column of light. As Molteni concludes, “a Zen monk’s room.
Mario Bellini loves Milanese urban culture, the city. His home, in a C19th building reworked by Piero Portaluppi, is designed around a large 9 metre tall library/staircase, which runs through and across it like a telescope.
Like his other peers, the Milan architect Mario Bellini loves books
The books, artworks and objects make it reminiscent of Antonello da Messina’s painting of St. Jerome’s study.
The library aside, colorful abstract murals enliven the space and clash wonderfully with the home’s period details.
He is about to embark on a design for a white cube, his new home.
That is his dream.
Marcio Kogan’s house shoots up towards the sky, reflecting the bright, free spaces of Brazil.
He designed the building ( Studio MK27 ), his first winning competition entry in 1980; his home is on the 12th floor.
A window frames the view over the city, like a huge panoramic screen, for an architect who dreamt of the cinema.
The space is full of eccentric works, signed pieces, ornaments, travel souvenirs.
A grand piano in the center of the room functions partly as a coffee table, while shelves and wallspace are covered with artfully posed souvenirs, toys, trinkets, and other ephemera.
Kogan remembers the story of each one of then and how they got here.
A nightmare for the memory.
BIJOY JAIN/ STUDIO MUMBAI
A village, a community, countryside complex, where architect Bijoy Jain lives and runs Studio Mumbai with 60 craftsmen.
His home belongs to all, immersed in the Indian countryside at Alibag, 30 km from the centre of Mumbai.
Trees shade the property, helping to create a private, enclave-like atmosphere.
The reading room, designed by Bijoy to capture the lights and shadows of the day
A large swimming pool to the rear of the house is a welcome respite from the heat, while the modestly decorated reading room is part library, part meditation space.