8 Modern Architects at Home

By Kelsey Keith / Published by Dwell
Recommended by
Salone del Mobile previews its 2014 special exhibition—Where Architects Live—with a sneak peek into the personal living spaces of Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Shigeru Ban, and more.

Francesca Molteni—of the Italian family who owns Molteni & C, among others—curated the exhibition "Where Architects Live," which will be held at Salone del Mobile in Milan this April. Molteni visited the private homes of eight world-renowned architects to conduct interviews and film their domestic spaces with the help of scenographer Davide Pizzigoni. The exhibition will recreates the private "rooms" of Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind, and Bijoy Jain/Studio Mumbai. By revealing the details of these architects’ chosen environments, we get a chance to understand their obsessions and visions for living.


Francesca Molteni writes, "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 traveling architects." Photo by Aki Furudate.

Visit Pavilion 9 at the Rho Milan Fairgrounds, April 8-13, to see it in person. And make sure to check back on Dwell.com for daily updates from the Milan fair.

Architect Massimiliano Fuksas and his wife Doriana, also a designer, split their time between Paris and Rome. Photo by Aki Furudate.

Naturally, architect David Chipperfield's Berlin home is as restrained as the commissions that have made him world renowned. Photo by Simon Menges.


"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 neighborhood, 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." Photo by Davide Pizzigoni.


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. Photo by Davide Pizzigoni.

Milanese architect Mario Bellini at home. Photo by Davide Pizzigoni.


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. Photo by Francesca Molteni.


"Hanegi Forest–architecture among trees, designed by Shigeru Ban in 2007. 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." Photo by Hiroyuki Hirai.


"After traveling 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." Photo by Nicola Tranquillino.


"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." Photo by Davide Pizzigoni.

Kelsey Keith


Kelsey Keith has written about design, art, and architecture for a variety of print and online publications.

Everybody loves feedback. Be the first to add a comment.
The author will be notified whenever new comments are added.