All the times Domus was “at the home of”

Architects, artists, photographers and writers. But also musicians and gallery owners. A collection of our most famous house visits, from Lia Rumma to Alessandro Baricco, from Gianni Berengo Gardin to pearls from the archive.

In the presentation that Alessandro Mendini, an incredible designer and a great editor in chief of Domus, made of his own house in 1982 in our magazine, which he edited at the time, he wrote: “My furniture is like water for a fish”. More precisely, he called it “a vital element, an unconscious envelope, a situation now dominated, now suffered, but always essential”. But is this not the case for everyone? Our homes are not just a habitat or an extension of us. They are us. And in a way, they are our biography.

And it is the interaction between ten creatives – or “creators” in a more current definition – their homes (or studio homes) and their work that we explore in the following selected articles. Artists, designers and intellectuals, chosen for their cultural proximity to Domus, have opened the doors of their homes to us. They invited us to a crucial place to understand who they are, who they were, and what they have become: photographers, writers, architects, gallery owners, to name a few. Here is what we saw and what they told us.

Lia Rumma, Posillipo, Naples

I like to combine the historical with the contemporary. The house has this dichotomy, like a sort of elastic band.

The gallerist’s Neapolitan home is a house that dives into the sea, and is surrounded by an enormous terrace. Inside, new and old meet, and the works of artists dear to her are displayed.

Nicola Lagioia, Esquilino, Rome

Reduce the damage. This is one of the missions to which we are called: to transform the violence within us.

Initially vacant, the renowned writer’s home in Rome’s Rione Esquilino now brims with life, a departure from its initial state influenced by “a Lutheran perspective on life”. Within these walls, echoes of another residence linger – the Varani murder house – immortalized by Lagioia in his The City of the Living.

Gianni Berengo Gardin, Milan

I am a photographer, not an artist-photographer, or a photographer-artist, as many like to call themselves today.

One of the most eminent living photographers, he has documented the evolution of Italy from WWII to the present day with a clear and empathetic gaze. We met him in his attic studio.

Francois Halard, Arles, France

When you take a photograph, even if you take it for others, you are photographing for yourself, you must never forget that.

He has photographed the most beautiful artists’ studios and homes in the world. Now the French photographer has chosen to go back to working first and foremost for himself. We met him in his home-studio in Arles.

Alessandro Baricco and Gloria Campaner, Turin

The structure of the building has remained the same since the 18th century, but the people who have lived here have made changes; [...] the objects that have become part of the house tell of their time.

Located on the hills of Turin, it is a stratification of stories and objects that speak of the two owners: he is a famous writer, she a renowned pianist.

Paolo Fresu, Bologna

You must know that, for me, lamps and paintings are the most important things. They come before the home itself. This makes my wife fly into a rage.

In the trumpet player’s home in Bologna nothing is out of place and neatness reigns supreme. We enter his world filled with works of his artist friends and designer lamps. 

Alessandro Mendini, Milan

I like to think of my interior decoration, therefore, not as an architect, but as an individual who in the course of his life communicates with the places he lives in.

“My interior décor is like water for a fish.” From the Domus archive, a great director’s reflections on the home where his life took place, between Piero Portaluppi, Ernesto N. Rogers, Lucio Fontana and a reinvented legacy.

Arnaldo Pomodoro, Darsena, Milan

I love working within the urban fabric because I need the stimuli of the city and the position of this studio is very positive for me.

“I arrived in Milan in 1954. I had left Pesaro, together with my brother Giò, with a global dream”: the sculptor talks about his historic workspace, a former post house that Gregotti renovated for him in the 1980s.

Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, Barrio gotico, Barcelona, Spain

The house plays with its users by offering itself as if it were a chessboard.

We met Benedetta Tagliabue in her huge house. Located in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, it was converted from an old warehouse and designed with her work and life partner Enric Miralles, who passed away in 2000.

Mimmo Jodice, Posillipo, Naples

We have been living here since 1990. It is a small road that from the hill goes down to the sea, with little tuff walls and old villas from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

Domus meets the photographer in his house and studio. A space where photos and objects are the epitome of decades spent travelling and working, of his love for art, as well as portraying the very strong bond with his wife Angela.

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