House for Wallpaper*

, [project], Neues Museum, Berlin


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.

Antonino Cardillo, House for Wallpaper architects directory, 2009. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

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’.

Antonino Cardillo, House for Wallpaper architects directory, 2009. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

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.

Antonino Cardillo, House for Wallpaper architects directory, 2009. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, House for Wallpaper* architects directory, 2009. Photography: Antonino Cardillo


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.

Ellie Stathaki, Johnatan Bell, Wallpaper*, no. 125, p. 78.

Neues Museum

Houses for Wallpaper* 2009, Neues Museum, Berlin, 6 Apr. 2009, in Wallpaper, no. 125, pp. 80-81. Photography: Jason Schmidt

Antonino Cardillo: Golden model on the left, Wallpaper* architects directory 2009, Neues Museum, Berlin, 6 Apr. 2009, in Wallpaper*, no. 125, Aug. 2009, pp. 80‑81. Photography: Jason Schmidt

Chabot Museum

Antonino Cardillo: Model 17, Wallpaper future 30 [exhibition], Chabot Museum, 4th IABR, Rotterdam. Photography: Ellie Stathaki

Antonino Cardillo: Model 17, Wallpaper* future 30 [exhibition], Chabot Museum, 4th IABR, Rotterdam, Sept. 2009—Jan. 2010. Photography: Ellie Stathaki


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


Client: Wallpaper*
Editor-in-chief: Tony Chambers
Architecture editor: Johnatan Bell
Assistant architecture editor: Ellie Stathaki

Architecture design: Antonino Cardillo
Photography: Antonino Cardillo
Text: Antonino Cardillo
English translation: Charles Searson

Berlin golden model: Solido 3d Print, Rome
Rotterdam white model: DMC, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London


Thomson Carpenter, ‘Physical poetry’, DNA, no. 119, Sydney, Dec. 2009, p. 107.

Anonymous, ‘Antonino Cardillo: modello 17’, Wallpaper* future 30 [exhibition], ed. Ellie Stathaki, Chabot Museum, 4th IABR, Rotterdam, Sept. 2009.

Sebastian Jordana, ‘Wallpaper architects directory 2009’,, Brea, 24 July 2009.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Mediterranean dreams’,, ed. Niki May Young, London, 13 Aug. 2009.

Tony Chambers, Jonathan Bell, Ellie Stathaki, ‘Architects directory 2009’, Wallpaper*, no. 125, London, Aug. 2009, pp. 74, 76‑77, 81.