Current Issue: Domus 1011

In this issue

Domus 1011

Cover: graphic interpretation of the sketch by Peter Salter for Walmer Yard housing London. © Peter Salter

Editorial: On imagination

The idea of dividing the making of architectural design into successive and sequential phases makes it easier to approach the subject. By treating these different phases singly rather than together, we can describe them individually and autonomously
rather than within their framework as a whole.

Gio Ponti and the Parco dei Principi

A display of Ponti’s beloved ceramic tiles at the Triennale di Milano offers the occasion to peruse his design for the Parco dei Principi Hotel in Sorrento and the restoration of its exact original appearances, including an adjustment to changed standards in norms and technology with which today’s places of public hospitality must comply.

Designing to continue the city

By singling out the fabric of the European historic city as a field of study, the Architectural and Urban Composition 4 workshop, directed by Ferruccio Izzo at the School of Architecture, University of Naples Federico II, develops an investigation of forms through a dialectical relationship between intuition and rigorous verification.

School of Design Pratt Institute, New York

To guide students through the immense field of industrial design, one of the oldest and most famous design schools in the United States offers greatly varying workshops – from abstract investigations of three-dimensional form to socially aware design. These always result in accurate physical models, because training in manual construction and the humanisation of digital technologies remain crucial components of design education.

Maison de Verre as bachelor machine

Mysterious, ambiguous and experimental, the Maison de Verre remains one of the most significant pieces of 20th -century architecture, erasing the imagined line between architecture and interior design. This true revolution in the approach to living is reread by Kenneth Frampton in concurrence with the exhibition “Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design” at the Jewish Museum in New York.

Action, reflection and encounters

On the eve of his first edition as artistic director, Alessandro Rabottini describes “his” Miart: a polyphonic art fair where diverse and complementary circumstances meet and many different types of relations with art congregate, an event that would be unthinkable without the Milan we are getting to know in these years.

The stacked house

Le Corbusier’s immeuble-villas ; the stacked houses studied by Diotallevi and Marescotti; and the habitat marocain in Casablanca by Georges Candilis/AtBat Afrique are three modernist references examined by Giorgio Peghin as a typology still of interest today.

Art Bio Farm

The design of a large green area adjacent to a spa hotel north of Tokyo is allowing this Japanese architect to explore the park genre as he creates a kind of vast jigsaw puzzle where the relation between people and ponds, trees and plants aims to be intimate and familiar.

A post-earthquake commitment

An invitation to work in tremor-hit areas to ensure every new construction is built to standards worthy of Italy’s heritage comes from the influential Francesco Venezia who experienced the post-earthquake situation in Belice from an architect’s viewpoint.

Walmer Yard housing, London

An overview of the approach to designing and inhabiting architecture – fruit of a lifetime spent experimenting with materials and forms. This manifesto-house design forces a rethink of the key values of building architecture today. 

The Five Dragons Temple, Ruicheng City, China

This exemplary architectural and landscape regeneration project has restored worth to China’s oldest surviving Taoist temple in a programme to renovate and conserve the historic site executed with the adoption of traditional building methods and in a perfect balance of nature, expertise, history and innovation.

House in Laax, Switzerland

Compositional crispness constructed with the bare bones of architectural language makes for a house in the mountains where this Swiss architect lays out his thought on the spatial qualities of living. The design emphasises the contrast between inhabiting the fabric of an Alpine village and the character of country life.

Mario Bellini: My world

Thirty years after the Mario Bellini exhibition at the MoMA in New York, the Triennale di Milano is holding a large new retrospective of this Milanese architect’s oeuvre. Like back in 1987, he was asked to design the show’s display, and now he responded by exploring a way and manner of exhibiting architecture. Similar to a portion of city, the show faces the public space with a big retable rising up to form a “fortification wall” that divides indoors from outdoors. Also like a cityscape, three “gates” offer access: two smaller ones lead to the exhibits and a large one enters the bookshop. Inside, five “piazzas” show his buildings and a long “street” gives an overview of design projects. The final feature is a more private and intimate “piazzetta” where his Wunderkammer can be admired.  ndb

Designing a world of respect between people and objects

Drawing on the best of two cultures – that of France where he was born and studied, and that of Italy where he trained and first worked – Philippe Nigro has developed an original outlook that enables him to shift intelligently between product design and exhibition design. Fascinated by the structure of things, he welcomes the chance to reconfigure objects so that they forge emotional bonds with their users.

My favourite lamp? The next one

The president of Foscarini talks to Domus about the “unrestricted” entrepreneurial approach that allows him to use all kinds of materials and new technology. All-round innovation and a feel for craftsmanship continue to be the company’s trademarks after 30 years of business.

Elzeviro: “The home, single and threefold”

There are houses that resemble shelters, alcoves, temporary refuges and houses that resemble destinies. The former are occasional dwellings, while the latter amount to being homes of the soul. Inside us lives the memory or mental expectation of a home as a sign of destiny.