Canto Sospeso

, [progetto], Trapani


At the end of the Marina in the city of Trapani you see unexpected twilights dissolving in the refined profiles of the Egadi Islands. The limpidness of the sky catches the eye. It invites you to cross it, to recognise its innermost potentialities. Penetrating the emptiness and reinventing it, a system of prisms cuts the space of the sky into a virtual three-dimensional pagination. Its surfaces exchange reciprocal refractions, reflections and transparencies. Even though permeable to the soft multi-coloured light of dusk, these condense the space, defining a new vision and reality. At first impression they echo the skyscrapers of El Lissitzky.

Antonino Cardillo, Canto Sospeso, Trapani, tesi, Università di Palermo, 2001. CGI: Antonino Cardillo

Two linear buildings abandon their vertical columns. Climbing high they are directed according to inclines, inventing a composition characterised by a space enclosed but at the same time eluding its borders. Structurally reciprocal and reactive, the two constructions mutually compensate for the excesses of load: like the arms of a scale, the asymmetric ‘wings’ of the hotel balance themselves on a quartet of large trellises. Each follows a different direction. One inclines steeply downwards illuminating the surface of the sea, the other hovers horizontal in the space forming an impressive cover on the beach underlying and beginning, equally, a subtle relationship with the office building. This last, extended vertically for a short distance, veers away at a certain point creating an inclined plane at right angles to that of the hotel, thus suggesting a fleeting continuity between beach and sky. Each block has distinct accesses. That of the hotel is invisible from the outside. The building has no points of contact with the ground and hovers over the sea on giant stilts. Access is gained by way of an underwater passage, a logical continuation of that of the Marina. From this underground space, completed by a car park, four glass cylinders emerge, inside each trellis, the elevators, coming out of the water and crossing the full height of the covered urban space, reach the reception area in the high flat wing of the hotel.

Built on the resistance of a shaft under traction, the spatial orchestration of the structural web takes to the extreme the potentialities of steel used in a state of traction, allowing the use of slender shafts. In this way the volumes appear elegant, already designed by the thin steel web and articulated within by the syncopated narrative of the multiple levels of the 20 storeys.

Antonino Cardillo, Canto Sospeso, Trapani, tesi, Università di Palermo, 2001. CGI: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, Canto Sospeso, Trapani, tesi, Università di Palermo, 2001. IGC: Antonino Cardillo


Tempo: dic. 2001
Luogo: Marina di Trapani, Trapani, Italia
Area: 50.000 m² (sedici piani)
Tipologia: albergo


Scuola: Facoltà di Architettura, Università di Palermo
Relatore: Giovanni Sarta

Progetto di architettura: Antonino Cardillo
Immagine generata al computer: Antonino Cardillo
Testo: Antonino Cardillo
Traduzione inglese: Charles Searson


ANTONINO CARDILLO, ‘‘Canto Sospeso’ hotel and office buildings’, in New Concept Architecture, vol. I, cur. Xing Rihan, Rihan, Hong Kong, giu. 2010, pp. 212‑215.

ANTONINO CARDILLO, Architectural Dialog 08 [esposizione], San Pietroburgo, Artindex, mar.‑nov. 2008.

ANTONINO CARDILLO, ‘Boşluğun içine işleyen prizmalar sistemi”, n. 169, Istanbul, mar. 2007, pp. 138‑140.