Antonino Cardillo

Architectural Works





Grottoes & Arches



Specus Corallii (Trapani 2016) is an architectural work designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo for Trapani Cathedral (Sicily). Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

Specus Corallii* (fire)

TRAPANI, Sicily — September 2016 — The Coral Cave is a refuge from the world. A grotto where love can still happen. The place where the city regains its sacral dimension that binds those who were to those who are.



Colour as a Narrative (London Mayfair 2015) is an architectural work designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo for Illuminum Fragrance. Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

Colour as a Narrative* (air)

LONDON, England — April 29th, 2015 — Behind a portal on a Georgian street in London, lives a small grey grotto. Its rugged walls, imprinted with gestures of the mason’s trowel reveal the eroticism which was conveyed in the act of construction by the ancients.



Crepuscular Green (Rome 2014) is an architectural work designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo for the Mondrian Suite art gallery. Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

Crepuscular Green* (water)

ROME, Italy — April 2014 — Crepuscular Green is an interior refurbishment of an art gallery located in San Lorenzo, Rome. The use of colour/texture is inspired by the opening scene of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold, which depicts a greenish dawn as seen from the depths of the river.



The House of Dust (Rome 2013) is an architectural work designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

House of Dust* (earth)

ROME, Italy — March 2013 — In this house classical orders and golden proportions celebrate dust. A grey base supports a ceiling of rustic plaster of the colour of the bare earth: craving for primordial caverns, for Renaissance grotesques, for baroque nymphaeums in Doria Pamphilj, for faintly Liberty façades in the streets off Via Veneto.



The seven MIN sculptures (London 2014) designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo exhibited at the Sir John's Soane Museum. Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

MIN at the Sir John Soane's Museum*

LONDON, England — September 13th - October 11th, 2014 — Since the Etruscan tombs, even before appearing as a structural element in the history of architecture, the Arch derived its figure from the Phallus. Inspired by the Egyptian god of fertility, MIN sculpture investigates the origin of the sacred.



Arcade Store (Milan 2012) is an architectural project by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

Arcade Store

MILAN, Italy — April 2012 — The store appears to the visitor almost as an enchanted palace set in a rationalist building. As in the Royal Stable of Meknes or the Mosque of Cordoba, a succession of arches defines a perspective.



The Postmodern Cafe (London 2011) is a design set designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo at the Victoria and Albert Museum Exhibition Road entrance in occasion of the Postmodernism exhibition.

Postmodern Cafe at V&A

LONDON, England — August 2011 — Postmodern Cafe is homage to the V&A’s Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-90. Like huge frescoes, two façades recall the Pre-Modern bond between painting and architecture. Vinyl graffiti refigure archetypal themes of tympanum and arch.





Architecture as Entertainment



Antonino Cardillo: Architecture as Entertainment, in Fulcrum, no.77, Architectural Association Press, London, November 18th, 2013.

Fulcrum. Folio of Architectural Association School

LONDON, England — November 18th, 2013 — Long ago, mankind celebrated the mystery of creation by constructing houses for invisible beings called Gods. Architecture transfigured trees and stones into something grandiose and communicative. It was a universal language, like music, and following this rationale the most ancient traditions were stratified.





Wallpaper* Architecture Directory



Model House (Marrakech 2009) designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo in occasion of the 2009 Wallpaper* Architects Directory. Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

Model House for Wallpaper*

LONDON, England — February 2009 — “As well as our definitive room-by-room round-up of the latest and greatest designs for your home, we’ve identified and profiled the world’s 30 most talented young architectural practices.” — Editor-in-Chief Tony Chambers





Imagined Houses



Ellipse 1501 House (2008) is the first of the seven imaginary houses designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Rendering by Antonino Cardillo.

I — Ellipse 1501 House

ROME, Italy — March 2007 — Near a rocky slope, behind a thick blanket of pines, lives a house in the shape of a tower. It is not round, but its geometric set-up dilates toward east and west to welcome in the low, warm, extended light of the sun at dawn and dusk.



Vaulted House (2008) is the second of the seven imaginary houses designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Rendering by Antonino Cardillo.

II — Vaulted House

PARMA, Italy — January 2008 — Silences are not all alike. The silence of a large nave is different from that of a room. And the outdoor sounds of the countryside perceived through a great silence can be yet more diverse.



House of Convexities (2008) is the third of the seven imaginary houses designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Rendering by Antonino Cardillo.

III — House of Convexities

BARCELONA, Spain — March 2008 — Inside a house among coarse Mediterranean glades and corrugated stone walls, a slanting light, pierced by innumerable narrow repeated blades, inscribes and describes the walls with its impermanent, mutable hand.



Max's House in a Small Lake (2008) is the fourth of the seven imaginary houses designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Rendering by Antonino Cardillo.

IV — Max's House in a Small Lake

NIMES, France — July 2008 — Research, often, is a path orientated by incoherent choices, and yet the willingness to be permeated by the unexpected often reveals new keys to the comprehension of reality, which, being by its very nature constructed from a geography and from a relatively infinite time, is unstable, insecure and imponderable.



Concrete Moon House (2008) is the fifth of the seven imaginary houses designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Rendering by Antonino Cardillo.

V — Concrete Moon House

MELBOURNE, Australia — October 2008 — Secretly, everyone is attracted to what he is afraid of and sometimes fear reawakens desires that cannot be confessed. We remain perturbed, recognising that in remote parts of our interior universe resides an apparent otherness.



House of Twelve (2009) is the sixth of the seven imaginary houses designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Rendering by Antonino Cardillo.

VI — House of Twelves

MELBOURNE, Australia — May 2009 — It was the ruins of ancient Rome that inspired this project, those unpredictable warps that in the eighteenth century appeared to European travellers on the Grand Tour as fantastic visions.



Purple House (2011) is the seven of the seven imaginary houses designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Rendering by Antonino Cardillo.

VII — Purple House

PEMBROKESHIRE, Wales — October 2011 — Purple House represents an unconscious trip into the Norman legacy: what were the forgotten exchanges between England, Wales, Ireland and Sicily?





Early Works



Monteverde Vecchio Apartment (Rome 2011) designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. Drawing by Antonino Cardillo.

Monteverde Flat*

ROME, Italy — January 2011 — “La casa corrisponde ad un principio di identità. È materia complessa, fatta di intimità, di praticità e gioco, di ricordi e progettualità. Ascoltare e organizzare nello spazio è stato il senso di una collaborazione. In un’assonanza costruita nel dialogo, Antonino ha compreso un modo di essere, un ritmo.” — Francesco Pignataro



Akin to a Cinema Set (Milan 2010) is an architectural project designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo for Sergio Rossi and Wallpaper* magazine. Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

Akin to a Cinema Set*

MILAN, Italy — April 12nd, 2010 — The idea of the insertion of a building into another is a recurring theme in the architecture of the past. From the medieval schola cantorum, to the fifteenth century of Leon Battista Alberti, to the Baroque experiences of the rooms of light and of the theatrical stage set, up to the neoclassical canopies of John Soane.



The Inexact Quality (Takarazuka 2010) is an architectural work designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo for Nomura Koumuten Corporation of Osaka. Photography by Antonino Cardillo.

The Inexact Quality*

TAKARAZUKA, Japan — March 2010 — Two right-angled systems find their connection on the third side, on the road, defining in elevation a faceted shape. Its diverse surfaces mutate the intensity of the light according to the incidence of the sun. Inside, on the first floor, a large polygonal living room with seven sides possesses the inexact quality of certain medieval Italian piazzas.



Birnbeck Island (Weston-Super-Mare 2007) is an architectural proposal designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo for a Royal Institute of British Architects competition.

Birnbeck Island

WESTON-SUPER-MARE, England — October 2007 — Like a big naval vessel, a curved shape embraces all the diverse elements of the composition, which counterpoints the new tall buildings. In each of their narrow frontages, at the top, a big window marks the seascape creating a panorama like multitude of lighthouses.



Δρέπανον (Trapani 2001). Architectural project designed by Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo during the making of his degree thesis at the Faculty of Architecture of Palermo.

Δρέπανον

TRAPANI, Sicily — December 2001 — Having to be at least in intention a lasting phenomenon, architecture ‘puts up with’ entertainment. Entertainment is ephemeral, mutable, and a building that tries to fix the shape of a space in time is destined almost always to fail. Is an architecture of amusement possible then?






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