The theme of the “architect’s house” has assumed a new centrality in domestic landscape literature, and has partly replaced the more ancient tradition of the “artist’s house.”
The curator of this COSMIT special event, Francesca Molteni – 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.
The intention of the exhibit is to conjure up the material and spacial qualities of the homes, as well as the relationship between place, things and life.
Francesca Molteni and architect scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, together devised a project that recreates the private “rooms” of leading world architects by means of real-life videos, images, sounds, comments and reconstructions.
The result is an interactive exhibition space that unveils the architects’ visions of living, their choices and their obsessions.
“Where Architects Live” is an exhibition that tells the story of the homes and private spaces of eight of the world’s foremost architects in the form of a great 1,600 m2 multimedia installation.
The installation features eight 100 sq m spaces that reflect Molteni’s findings throughout the nine months spent travelling the world, entering the personal lives and habitats of these architects..
“Where Architects Live” is a response to these questions and to natural curiosity, but it also aims to broaden the vision of domestic architecture itself.
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.
The powerful elements that characterise the eight houses have been abstracted, synthesised, reproduced on a grand scale and set against images of the real thing in the 30 videos that make up the installations
Marcio Kogan’s window with a view installation, reinforces the cinematic approach of his São Paulo dwelling
Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas’ Paris apartment is represented with a series of Jean Prouvé pieces and antique warrior statues that guard the threshold
Daniel Libeskind’s blank canvas riffs off the fact that the architect regularly changes location
Shigeru Ban’s room interprets his zen aesthetic, showcasing his organic cut-outs and use of light
Mario Bellini’s staircase/bookcase, to be negotiated with several pauses;
David Chipperfield’s favoured dwelling – his new concrete building in the Mitte District of Berlin – has been depicted with a playful representation of his affection for the city
Zaha Hadid’s dynamism in the purity of an impluvium;
Studio Mumbai/Bijoy Jain’s space represents his reading room, located in the heart of his Studio Mumbai complex, surrounded by ancient trees, craftsmen and many dogs
Molteni’s project has evolved over nine months, and initially began as an insight into the personal living space of some of the world’s most acclaimed architects.
‘We thought it would be interesting to see how the big names of architecture, the ones who are really changing the world, live,’ Molteni says. ‘Do they rent? Do they just have a place to sleep in? Is it a house or an apartment?’
Even though Molteni maintains that the idea ‘wasn’t voyeuristic, but the idea of discovering details about the connections between their life and work’, potential participants weren’t convinced.
‘What we discovered was that it was hard for them to open the doors to the public. It was a private world, their only place to be out of public life.’
Instead, what has emerged is a hybrid of new design and personal autobiography.