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House of Twelve


The sixth instalment in the ‘For No One’ collection, this architectural project embarks on a journey into the ruins of ancient Rome. It engages with light to manipulate perception, proposing an exploration of the progressive mutation of contemporary ideas and those of late antiquity

House of Twelve


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. Rather than the historic original, what fascinates still today is this state of progressive destruction that a millennial weather carves in the forms, unveiling obscure recesses. So the ruin tells us of time passing, of slowly dying beauty, and in this its slow decay evokes a transverse narrative, as if trapped between the architecture and its definitive destruction. House of Twelve tries to invent a fantastic response to an interrupted story, following an empirical path made by progressive mutation of contemporary ideas and those of late antiquity, such as the theme of intersecting rings or the horizontal sequence of multiple spaces and forms, concatenated and directed according to a poetic, which unites works of Frank Lloyd Wright with the villa of the emperor Hadrian at Tivoli. Collisions and juxtapositions, furthermore, distant echoes of the American Center by Frank Gehry,⁠[1] characterise the front and the public space of the house, whose roundnesses appear, from the road, to be deeply sculpted. As well as restoring thickness to the façade, these excavations make it permeable to the winter sun, which reaches to illuminate, with a grazing light, interpreted by the cavities, the courtyards at the rear. In particular, the living space, with its vault in gold mosaic, the ripples of the mirrors of water at the edges and the consequent manifold reflections of light, appears from the main courtyard as a baroque room of light, here reinvented in an urban key.

This text was first published in,[↗] London, 23 July 2010.


  1. ^ Antonietta Iolanda Lima, ‘Frank O. Gehry. American Center, Parigi’,[↗] dwg. Antonino Cardillo, Testo & immagine, Turin, 1998, pp. 93.

House of Twelve

House of Twelve

House of Twelve

House of Twelve


  • Time: Dec. 2008–May 2009 (design)
  • Place: Kew, Melbourne, Australia
  • Area: 500 m² (three storeys)
  • Typology: semi-detached house


  • Architecture design: Antonino Cardillo
  • Clients: Livio, Nadia De Marchi
  • CGI, text: Antonino Cardillo
  • Translation: Charles Searson