At some point, architecture is like poetry: both require you to wander through space to appreciate it. So, if Homer had his Iliad and Odyssey, Rome based architect Antonino Cardillo has the homes he builds across the globe, interpreting his clients’ “most hidden and irrational wishes.” How else do you explain a house inspired by the flamenco, another by a boat, the moon or an eclipse? “For me, architecture is not just a cut and dried process that’s limited to designing a layout according to the client’s brief.” says Cardillo, who is feted the world over for his unusual and original approach to construction.
It has to be a completely personal experience for me. Which is why I like to get the look and feel of the location for myself. I begin by gathering various kinds of information. From the history and geography of the site to the music, cinema and literature of the region, every small thing about the area is of interest to me”, he says, and goes on to explain his behaviour. “The creative process is a holistic one, where seemingly incongruous elements find unforeseen connections and synthesis.
This architect does not believe in using over-the-top materials; instead he builds his homes from travertine (a terrestrial sedimentary rock), concrete and wood. “These traditional materials are derived from the architecture of the ancient Romans”, says Cardillo, adding, “Often in contemporary design, the lack of thoughtful architecture and innovation is cleverly camouflaged by the use of stunning materials.”
Here’s a look at three projects-in Italy, France and Spain-that best showcase Cardillo’s design philosophy.