Antonino Cardillo

Ellipse 1501 House



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. A double wall, made from progressive monolithic castings of lightweight concrete, develops the perimeter of an ellipse, supporting, above, a stretched out, slanting cover. In the internal space between the two walls, an ample interspace comprises the accessory area—stairs to the bedroom, bathroom, boiler, storerooms, cupboard—serving the occupants of the house and contributing to stabilising the temperature of the large central hall.


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

Architect: Antonino Cardillo
Designed in March 2007
Inspired by a journey to Istanbul
Imagined venue: Rome countryside

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

Inside, the compositional set-up is interpreted by means of a cross-sectional system, rotated in plan relative to the axe of the ellipse; it ordinates volumes which include the guest bedroom on the ground floor and the bedroom on the first floor.


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


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

All around, deep excavations in the outside wall suggest unexpected fleeting routes towards the rocks and the wood on the outside; they break up the sky into a multitude of quadrants. Over the course of days, nights and seasons, the thick reveals of the windows register the changing colours of the celestial hemisphere.


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

Thus the light of the sky makes a mutable architecture, articulating the passing time. So the light colours the space, and changes with itself. In supporting these changes, the fabric remains in its essence: colourless or tending to grey.


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

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Ellipse 1501 House © Antonino Cardillo