Did you ever wish to go into the house of a famous architect? To see if their living space is up to their public image, if their private places have something in common with the star architect’s projects for their clients? The Salone gives you this somewhat “voyeuristic” chance with the exhibition “Where Architects Live”. Some small domestic details may be telltale about how someone is, lives and conceives architecture. “The aim of the event -Cosmit President Claudio Luti said- is to explore the art of living today, with a close look at the people who are changing the face of our cities, the configuration of the global landscape and the collective imagination, putting the spotlight on new ways of planning domestic environments from every possible aspect”.
The Salone offer us 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 curator of the 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. She and the architect and scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, who has been exploring representational space and working with leading international opera theatres, have devised a project that recreates the private “rooms” of Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain/Studio Mumbai 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.
Title: Dove vivono gli architetti.
Where: Fiera Milano/Rho, padiglione 9
When: 8/13 Aprile 2014.
1,2 Shigeru Ban.
Hanegi Forest – architecture among trees, designed by Shigeru Ban in 1997. The challenge 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. A round table, a Terragni chair, a Greek face and masses of light. Nothing else, a Zen monk’s room.
3, Mario Bellini.
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. The books, artworks and objects make it reminiscent of Antonello da Messina’s painting of St. Jerome’s study. He is about to embark on a design for a white cube, his new home. That is his dream.
First his studio, then his home. David Chipperfield chose Berlin, after the city commissioned him to rebuild the Neues Museum in 1997. It is in the same neighbourhood, Mitte. In the courtyard that contains both his house and his studio, Chipperfield also designed a canteen, a place where locals meet. The house is built of concrete, with large windows overlooking the street and the courtyard. It contains a few ‘50s and ‘60s Italian furnishings, and two colours. The green of a velvet sofa and the orange of a bookcase that divides the space between the kitchen and the sitting room.
5,Doriana e Massimiliano Fuksas.
A table, a window, a royal square, statues and horses. In Paris, Place des Vosges, Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas’s home. Original Jean Prouvé furniture, and masses of artworks, from Fontana to Paladino. On the threshold, antique warriors stand guard over the house and protect it, like custodians awaiting the return of its travelling architects.
6, Zaha Hadid.
Zaha describes herself as a gypsy, of no fixed abode. 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. Some of her early designs, inspired by the revolutionary Russian artist El Lissitzky, hang on the walls. 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.
7, Marcio Kogan.
Marcio Kogan’s house shoots up towards the sky, reflecting the bright, free spaces of Brazil. He designed the building, 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 works, signed pieces, ornaments, travel souvenirs. Kogan remembers the story of each one of then and how they got here. A nightmare for the memory.
8, Daniel Libeskind.
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. His house is a refuge. Books, books and more books. Brushes for mapping new worlds. 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.
9, Bijoy Jain /Studio Mumbai.
A village, a community, where Bijoy Jain lives and works with 60 craftsmen. This is Studio Mumbai. His home belongs to all, immersed in the Indian countryside at Alibag, 30 km from the centre of Mumbai. A large swimming pool set amid ancient trees and a great many dogs. The reading room, designed by Bijoy to capture the lights and shadows of the day, reflects the atmosphere of a meditation space.