Vaulted House


The silence of a nave


The three zones of working, living and resting are represented in sequence along an axis by juxtaposed edifices: a trapezoidal polyhedron, an ample rectangular hall and a tower articulated on two levels. On the inside, openings and pathways weave a possible dialogue between each cavity.

Antonino Cardillo, Vaulted House, Parma, 2008. CGI: Antonino Cardillo

Silences are not all alike. The silence of a large nave is different from that of a room. And the outdoor sounds of the countryside perceived through a great silence can be yet more diverse. So, in a hall, modulated in plan on three squares six metres wide the heart of the design is formed.

Antonino Cardillo, Vaulted House, Parma, 2008. CGI: Antonino Cardillo

The flooring in travertine and a covering of Venetian stucco spread on the ample side developed lengthways, create, via a chromatic homogeneity, a continuous ribbon which, enveloping the observer, offers a sort of blank page on which to write his or her own experience. At the same time, the light, coming from the long sides of the room, has the possibility to interpret the space. On the south side the position of the windows welcomes in the winter sun and, through a thick wide cement lunetta, screens the sun in summer.

Antonino Cardillo, Vaulted House, Parma, 2008. CGI: Antonino Cardillo

Below, in the centre, a block of travertine is excavated from a low cavity. Inside it a block functions as a work surface for the kitchen, occupying the centre; in the background a door leads to the pantry and two windows mark the corners of the room leading towards the outside.

Antonino Cardillo, Vaulted House, Parma, 2008. CGI: Antonino Cardillo

On the opposite side of the hall, to the north, the windows shrink towards the corners, becoming vertical. From floor to ceiling, the openings pick up the fleeting light of the sun at dawn and at sunset in summer which, penetrating the room diagonally, colour the space with new meanings.

Antonino Cardillo, Vaulted House, Parma, 2008. CGI: Antonino Cardillo

Finally, moving between the hall and the tower of the rest, an azure light, concealing its origins, slips from above along the wooden and cemented walls of the walkways and the stairs accessing the tower, forming an iridescent stage, a picture in perspective in mutation.

Antonino Cardillo, Vaulted House, Parma, 2008. CGI: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, Vaulted House, Parma, 2008. CGI: Antonino Cardillo


Time: Nov. 2007‑Jan. 2008
Place: Felino, Parma, Italy
Area: 370 m² (two storeys)
Typology: detached house

Tags: ,


Architecture design: Antonino Cardillo
Computer-generated imagery: Antonino Cardillo
Text: Antonino Cardillo
English translation: Charles Searson

Selected publications

Kirsten Wenzel, ‘Der Architekt als Maerchenerzaehler’,, Berlin, 17 Jan. 2019.

Teresa Morales-García, ‘Ver tocar y sentir’, Solange, no. 5, ed. Manuel Rodríguez, Rome, Sept. 2017, pp. 18.

Jeanette Kunsmann, Stephan Burkoff, ‘Architektur und Wahrheit’, DEAR Magazin, no. 1, Berlin, Apr. 2017, pp. 68‑85.

Carolin Höfler, ‘Hyper desire’, paper presented to the Wunsch, Technische Hochschule Köln, Cologne, 1 June 2016.

Carolin Höfler, ‘Faked Reality. Die Traumhäuser von Antonino Cardillo’, paper presented to the Constructed Realities, ed. Chris Dähne, Frederike Lausch and Bettina Rudhof, Goethe‑Universität, Deutsche Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, 1 Dec. 2015.

Gerard Houllard, ‘Über die mediatisierte Repräsentation von Architektur’,, vol. 4, no. 1, International Association for Cultural Studies in Architecture, Basel, May 2013, pp. 8‑11.

Hubertus Adam, ‘Analog/Digital’, in S AM, no. 10, Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum, Basel, March 2013, pp. 19, 28.

Birgit Ochs, ‘Architekturentwürfe: es möchte echt sein’, Sonntagszeitung, no. 6, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurt am Main, 10 Feb. 2013, p. V9.

Stefano Mirti, Gioia Guerzoni, ‘Siamo specchi l’uno dell’altro’, Opere, no. 32, Florence, Oct. 2012, pp. 4, 52‑56.

Daniel Lordick, ‘Die Entkoppelung von Entwurf und Darstellung’, Competition, no. 2, Berlin, Oct. 2012, p. 78.

Carl Zillich, with Fabrizio Gallanti, Lars Krückeberg, Volkwin Marg, Wolfram Putz, Peter Reischer, Andreas Ruby, Tobias Walliser, Thomas Willemeit, ‘Causa Cardillo: “Geht’s noch ohne Hochstapelei?”’,, Berlin, 10 Sept. 2012.

Peter Reischer, ‘Grandiose Luftschlösser’, Am Sonntag, no. 32, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich, 5 Sept. 2012, p. 35.

Christian Holl, ‘Alles nur gerendert — und jetzt?’,, Stuttgart, 29 Aug. 2012.

Gabriele Detterer, ‘Phantasie und Wirklichkeit’, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, no. 164, Zurich, 17 July 2012, p. 40.

Eleonora Carrano, ‘Il caso Cardillo: uno dei 30 architetti più importanti del mondo e l’architettura inesistente’,, Rome, 13 July 2012.

Alessandro Alviani, ‘Cardillo, l’architetto delle case inesistenti’, La Stampa, vol. 146, no. 182, Turin, 3 July 2012, p. 37.

Susanne Beyer, ‘Hochstapler: Römische Ruinen’, Der Spiegel, no. 27/12, Hamburg, 2 July 2012, pp. 3, 121‑123.

Peter Reischer, ‘Schöner Klonen’, Falter, no. 19/12, Vienna, 9 May 2012, pp. 30‑31.

Helen Geng Haizhen, ‘印象派建筑师’, Interior Architecture of China, Beijing, Nov. 2011, pp. 56‑59.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Antonino Cardillo’, MAN, no. 277, ed. Teresa Morales, Barcelona, Dec. 2010, p. 22.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Vaulted House’, in In Home, ed. Xing Rihan, Rihan, Hong Kong, May 2010, pp. 168‑173.

Ridhi Kale, ‘Poetry of space’, Home, India Today, Mumbai, Jan. 2010, pp. 46‑48, 50, 52.

Thomson Carpenter, ‘Physical poetry’, DNA, no. 119, Sydney, Dec. 2009, p. 106.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Architecture and reverberation’, Tasarim, no. 194, Istanbul, Aug. 2009, pp. 90‑91.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Golden aura’, Design Today, vol. VIII, no. 4, ed. Mamta Upadhyaya, New Delhi, Jan. 2009, pp. 36, 38, 40.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Vaulted House, Parma’, Plan, Dublin, Nov. 2008, pp. 30‑31.

Devyani Jayakar, ‘Vaulted House’, Home Review, vol. 7, no. 5, Mumbai, Sept. 2008, pp. 68‑72.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Studio Antonino Cardillo’, Made, no. 9, ed. Benedetta Bagni, Milan, Aug. 2008, pp. 88‑95.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Vaulted House’, A+A, no. 3/08, Mexico City, Aug. 2008, pp. 38‑41.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Vaulted House’, L’Arca, no. 237, Milan, June 2008, pp. 74‑77.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Een onbeschreven blad’, Abstract, no. 46, Bruxelles, June 2008, pp. 14‑18.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘几何形状住宅(二)——拱形房屋’, Landscape Architect, Dalian, May 2008, pp. 32‑35.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Living in the zone…’,, ed. Samy Mansour, London, 7 Apr. 2008.