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House for Wallpaper*


Project for the Wallpaper* architects directory model house exhibited in the Berlin Neues Museum and the Rotterdam Chabot Museum, with vault, courtyard and golden plaster

House for Wallpaper


Years ago, around Marrakech, spread out over the arid plains, I saw some fences. From the outside, I could not understand what lay beyond, but I believe that they were lodgings. What could be within those walls? What was life like there? These questions stimulated my imagination for some months. Today, in the project commissioned by occasion of the ‘Wallpaper* architects directory 2009’, I tried to imagine a possible answer. From the palace of Akhenaton to the projects of Mies, history is full of examples of courtyard houses. This mode of living fascinates me because it brings into question the need to define an ‘external’. So, rather than identify itself with its shell, the building finds its true essence within, where the parts of the composition can speak to each other inside the ‘empty heart’ of a patio, creating a dialogue that recalls the cities of a pre-modern Mediterranean.

House for Wallpaper

House for Wallpaper

Client’s brief

As if an annual sweep of the world’s most promising young architects wasn’t ambitious enough, for 2009 we’ve decided to add a new twist to the directory. Rather than simply report on the newest firms to flash onto our radar, Wallpaper* has commissioned 30 of the finest young architects to design their ideal home. The concept was to create a practical house for tomorrow; a sustainable, functional and elegant residential prototype adaptable to any plot.

Wallpaper architects directory 2009

Photo shoot of the Antonino Cardillo golden model on the left, Wallpaper* architects directory 2009, Neues Museum, Berlin, 6 April 2009, in Wallpaper*, no. 125, eic. Tony Chambers, Aug. 2009, pp. 80‑81. Photography: Jason Schmidt

Wallpaper Future 30

Exhibition of the Antonino Cardillo ‘Model 17’, ‘Wallpaper* Future 30’ [exhibition], Chabot Museum, 4th IABR, Rotterdam, Sept. 2009–Jan. 2010. Photography: Ellie Stathaki


  • Time: Feb.–March 2009 (design), 6 April 2009 (fotografie Neues Museum), Sept. 2009–Jan. 2010 (esposizione Chabot Museum)
  • Venues: Neues Museum, Bodestraße 1-3, Berlin, Germany; Chabot Museum, Museumpark 11, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Area: 100 m² (one storey)
  • Typology: Detached house


  • Architecture design: Antonino Cardillo
  • Berlin golden model: Solido 3d Print, Rome
  • Rotterdam white model: DMC, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London
  • Client: Wallpaper* (editor-in-chief: Tony Chambers; architecture editor: Johnatan Bell; assistant architecture editor: Ellie Stathaki)
  • Photography, text: Antonino Cardillo
  • Translation: Charles Searson