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 nymphaeums in Doria Pamphilj, for faintly Liberty façades in the streets off Via Veneto.
A sequence of compressions and dilatations makes up the space of the house. On the walls, passages and windows appear, now dug out of the base, now like carvings in a baguette.
A series of arches, memories of 14th century Italian painting, disguise doors and cupboards. Among these, one studded with a pink glass doorknob introduces the intimate rooms, which too are distinguished by the palest pink on the walls: yearning for dawns and flowers, the colour of beauty, the colour of beauty that dies.
Architecture is dust.
Dust that becomes form,
Dust transfigured by the mind.
Dust is memory so dust is also death.
Ancestral memory of death,
Dust refers to the beginnings.
That modernity that disowns sediment,
That shaves walls, that sanitises space;
That modernity that disowns dust,
Disowns even death.
Deprived of memory,
And so slave to a credible youth,
Ignoring its end, it repeats itself;
In this house classical orders
And golden proportions celebrate dust:
Angels and choirs have abandoned Heaven,
And Heaven has adorned itself with earth.
– Antonino Cardillo, Rome, April 2013
Time: October 2012 - March 2013
Place: Quartiere Ludovisi, Rome
Area: 115 m²
Cost including furniture and systems: € 150,000 (€ 1,300 per square meter)
Architect and construction manager: Antonino Cardillo
Client: Massimiliano Beffa
Construction company: Galliani & Giorgetti, Rome
Pozzolana casting: Julian P.
Cement concrete flooring: Elio e Michele Martorana, Rome
Parquet: Style Maison, Rome
Stone contractor: Marmi Ghirardi, Brescia
Knobs: GIL, Murano (Handles 1970, Rome)
Pozzolana: Orsolini Amedeo, Viterbo
Lamps: Armand Darot, Lumières, Rome
Tables: Antonino Cardillo
Idea of dust from a conversation with Ana Araujo at the St Paul’s Cathedral of London.
Thanks to Ava Cappelletti, Gioia Guerzoni, Pasquale Marino.
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House of Dust © Antonino Cardillo