Diogene is not an emergency accommodation, but a voluntary place of retreat. It is supposed to function in various climate conditions, independent of the existing infrastructure, as a self-sufficient system. The required water is collected by the house itself, cleaned and reused. The house supplies its own power and the necessary platform is minimised. Renzo Piano emphasises its aspect of “spiritual silence”. “Diogene provides you with what you really need and no more,” Piano states.
As architectural references, Piano lists the Cabanon, which Le Corbusier constructed at the beginning of the 1950s in Cap-Martin in the Côte d’Azur, the prefabricated house structures of Charlotte Perriand, and the Nakagin Capsule Tower, which Kisho Kurokawa erected in Tokyo in 1972. The late 1960s and early 1970s in London were very formative years for Piano: In the interview, he mentions one particularly important influence during this era as being Cedric Price with his “Fun Palace” and the hippie movement.
This little house is the final result of a long, long journey partially driven by desires and dreams, but also by technicality and a scientific approach