WINDOWS AS EYES: Three Houses architects built for themselves


It is perhaps one of the most interesting questions in the history of modern architecture: how do architects plan their own homes?

Studying these buildings allows us to understand how the architect finds a compromise between his manifesto, ambition and everyday life. In fact, architect’s houses are a litmus test of how one goes with the others.

At this workshop we looked at three buildings that were built between 1920 and 1960 in three different countries, and paid special attention to how the three architects managed to include a panoramic view and climate control while at the same time shielding their lives from prying eyes. The main theme was the windows from which these three people, who considered themselves not only architects but also writers and artists, looked at the world.

The three buildings are: Constantin Melnikov’s house (Moscow, 1927-1929), Walther Gropius’s house (Lincoln, 1937-1938) and Leonardo Ricci’s house (Florence, 1949-1964).

Workshop leader:

Manfredo di Robilant is an architect and a scholar in history of modern architecture. He recently completed a post-doc at the Polytechnic University of Turin and he has been Visiting Scholar 2012 at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal. He has taught at the Naba, Milan, and he lectured at the Washington University in St. Louis, the Harvard Studio in Rotterdam, the University of Bremen. He has been assistant to the editor of the monthly “Il Giornale dell’Architettura” and he published reviews and interviews on “Log” and “Domus”. Manfredo oversees “Ceiling” and “Window” sections at the exhibition by Rem Koolhaas “Fundamentals”, which will be the basis for the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014.

Technical equipment for participants (please, bring it with you):
- Laptops.