House of Dust

, [project], Rome


In this house classical orders and golden proportions celebrate dust. A grey base supports a ceiling of rustic plaster of the colour of the bare earth: craving for primordial caverns, for Renaissance grotesques, for baroque nymphaeums in Doria Pamphilj, for faintly Liberty façades in the streets off Via Veneto.

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

A sequence of compressions and dilatations makes up the space of the house. On the walls, passages and windows appear, now dug out of the base, now like carvings in a baguette. A series of arches, memories of Trecento Italian painting, disguises doors and cupboards.

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Among these, one studded with a pink glass doorknob introduces the intimate rooms, which too are distinguished by the palest pink on the walls: yearning for dawns and flowers, the colour of beauty, the colour of beauty that dies.

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo


By Antonino Cardillo, 2013

Architecture is dust.
Dust that becomes form,
Dust transfigured by the mind.

Dust is memory so dust is also death.
Ancestral memory of death,
Dust refers to the beginnings.

That modernity that disowns sediment,
That shaves walls, that sanitises space;
That modernity that disowns dust,
Disowns even death.

Deprived of memory,
And so slave to a credible youth,
Ignoring its end, it repeats itself;
Without end.

In this house classical orders
And golden proportions celebrate dust:
Angels and choirs have abandoned Heaven,
And Heaven has adorned itself with earth.


Pasquale Marino (direction), Valentina Belli (photography), The House of Dust [short movie], in Dezeen Movies, London, 2013.


Time: June 2012‑March 2013
Place: Ludovisi, Rome, Italy
Area: 115 m² (one storey)
Typology: apartment


Client: Massimiliano Beffa

Idea of ‘Dust’ from a conversation with Ana Araujo at St Paul’s Cathedral of London

Architecture design and construction management: Antonino Cardillo
Furniture design: Antonino Cardillo
Photography: Antonino Cardillo
Text: Antonino Cardillo
English translation: Charles Searson and Vittorio Valenta

Building contractor: Galliani & Giorgetti
Masonry: Ripan Michele
Plaster: Julian Paraschiv
Logistics: Giorgio Giorgetti
Painting: Petrica Rotaru
Electrical system: Luca Camai
Plumbing and clima system: Emiliano Proietto

Cement: Elio Martorana and Michele Martorana
Parquet: Style Maison
Stones: Marmi Ghirardi
Handle: GIL (via Handles Rome)
Lamps: Armand Darot
Chair: Kazuhide Takahama
Sofa: Piero Lissoni
Bookcase: Giuseppe Bavuso
Shower curtain: Pasquale Lo Guercio

Thanks to Ava Cappelletti, Gioia Guerzoni, Pasquale Marino, Paula O’Brien, and Auronda Scalera


Alfredo Vattimo,  ‘House of Dust’, guided tour part of the Open House Roma, ed. Gaia Maria Lombardo, Rome, 2‑3 Oct. 2021.

Antonino Cardillo,  ‘A synchronicity of cultures and civilisations’, paper presented to the Dessauer Gespräche, ed. Johannes Kister, Hochschule Anhalt, Dessau Institute of Architecture, 13 Nov. 2019.

Domenico Misciagna, ‘Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust e Zak McKracken’,, Rome, 27 May 2019.

Antonino Cardillo,  ‘Da Zak McKracken ad House of Dust’, paper presented to the Rome Video Game Lab, ed. Diego Grammatico and Giovanna Marinelli, Istituto Luce Cinecittà, Rome, 11 May 2019.

Kerstin Schultz, Hedwig Wiedemann-Tokarz, Eva Maria Herrmann, ‘Inherent color and material color’, in Thinking Color in Space, Birkhäuser, Berlin‑Basel, Dec. 2018, pp. 342‑343.

Annie Carroll, ‘Our top three favourite works by architect Antonino Cardillo’,, Sydney, 22 Jan. 2018.

Sabrina Puddu, ‘Uncanny beauty: unveiling a prison interior’, Idea Journal [online journal], Wellington, Dec. 2017, p. 123.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Vaults, grottoes, arches and polychromy’, paper presented to the Heinze ArchitekTOUR Kongress, STATION-Berlin, Berlin, 23 Nov. 2017.

Ecem Arslanay, ‘Mimarlık ve Toz’,, Istanbul, 10 Oct. 2017.

Mrinalini Ghadiok, ‘Elemental’, Mondo*Arc India, no. 15, New Delhi, July 2017, pp. 6, 50‑51, 60‑63.

Monica Khemsurov, ‘Saturday selects: week of April 17, 2017’,, New York, 17 Apr. 2017.

Jeanette Kunsmann, Stephan Burkoff, ‘Architektur und Wahrheit’, DEAR Magazin, no. 1, Berlin, Apr. 2017, pp. 80‑83.

Trudie Carter, ‘10 of the most popular pink-hued interiors on Dezeen’s Pinterest boards’,, London, 7 Oct. 2016.

Beppe Finessi, ‘Storie di altre stanze’, in Stanze: Altre Filosofie dell’Abitare, exhib. cat., ed. Beppe Finessi, Marsilio, Milan, Sept. 2016, pp. 169, 283.

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.

Sophia Klinkenberg, ‘Body building: Second skin’, in Being in shape / shaping environments, thesis, Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, The Hague, May 2015.

Francesca Gottardo, ‘Architettura di polvere’, Abitare la Terra, no. 37, Rome, March 2015, pp. 50‑53.

Elisabetta Colombo, Paola Menaldo, ‘Italian touch’, Living, no. 1/2, Corriere della Sera, Milan, Feb. 2015, pp. 13, 83.

Jeanette Kunsmann, ‘Neben der Realität: Die Schizophrenie der Branche’, Baunetzwoche, no. 397, BauNetz, Berlin, Feb. 2015, pp. 8, 11.

Nacho Alegre, ‘House of Dust’, in ROOM: Inside Contemporary Interiors, Phaidon, London, Oct. 2014, pp. 64‑67, 419.

Hannah Robinson, Aleksandra Szymanska, ‘Ephemeral spaces’, Anti-Materials, LS:N Global, London, 14 Aug. 2014.

Anonymous, ‘Mash up’, in Texworld Trend Spring Summer 2015, ed. Louis Gérin and Grégory Lamaud, Messe Frankfurt, Paris, 2014, pp. 31, 61.

Haim Capone, ‘לא הולך בתלם’, Trend, no. 141, Tel Aviv, March 2014, pp. 170‑180.

Jenny Dalton, ‘Decorative ceilings’, How to Spend It, Financial Times, London, March 2014, pp. 3, 71, 74.

Christine Schroder, ‘Wohnung „House of Dust“ in Rom’, AIT Magazin, no. 3/14, Leinfelden‑Echterdingen, March 2014, pp. 120‑125.

Ana Araujo, ‘Feeling through sight: zooming in, zooming out’, The Journal of Architecture, vol. 19, no. 1, RIBA, London, Jan. 2014, pp. 14‑15.

Danny Hudson, ‘Antonino Cardillo constructs the House of Dust in Rome’,, London, 14 Dec. 2013.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Antonino Cardillo: House of Dust’, paper presented to the ‘Intermediate Unit 2’, AA School, London, 20 Nov. 2013.

Anonymous, ‘Data divination’, in Homebuildlife Macro Trends Autumn/Winter 2015/16, WGSN, London, Nov. 2013.

Riya Patel, ‘Domestic philosophy’, Frame, no. 95, Amsterdam, Nov. 2013, pp. 58‑59.

Sandra Bermudez, ‘Morada de lo efimero’, Folio, vol. 4, Mexico City, Oct. 2013, pp. 42‑43.

Antonino Cardillo, Felix Mara, ‘A Roman theatre of light: House of Dust’, Architects’ Journal Specification, London, Oct. 2013, pp. 4, 50‑55, cover.

Dana Tomić Hughes, ‘House of Dust by Antonino Cardillo’,, Sydney, 27 Sept. 2013.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Dust to dust…’,, ed. Siân Disson, London, 21 Aug. 2013.

Mitchell Oakley Smith, ‘House of Dust’,, Sydney, 16 Aug. 2013.

Tim Berge, ‘Haus aus Staub’,, BauNetz, Berlin, 13 Aug. 2013.

Pasquale Marino (dir.), Valentina Belli (ph.), ‘House of Dust by Antonino Cardillo’ [video], Dezeen Architecture Movies, London, 5 Aug. 2013.

Amy Frearson, ‘House of Dust by Antonino Cardillo’,, London, 5 Aug. 2013. {tags: antonino cardillo, rome}

Antonino Cardillo, ‘A Roma la Casa della Polvere’ [video],, ed. Paolo Maria Noseda, Milan, 25 June 2013.

Paolo Maria Noseda, ‘Una casa, una visione’, Casamica, no. 3/13, Corriere della Sera, Milan, June 2013, pp. 74‑83.

Antonino Cardillo, ‘Incontro con l’architetto Antonino Cardillo’, Radio 3 Suite [radio program], ed. Andrea Penna, RAI Radio 3, Rome, 6 June 2013.

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, May 2013, pp. 1‑40. Printed in 250 copies.

Federico Caruso, Greto mare arcaico [email], Florence, 14 Apr. 2013.

Paula O’Brien, House of Dust [audio], lyr. Antonino Cardillo, Bradford, Apr. 2013.