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Inside the Homes of Eight Famous Architects

Inside the Homes of Eight Famous Architects, Shigeru Ban's Tokyo house. Image © Hiroyuki HiraiShigeru Ban's Tokyo house. Image © Hiroyuki Hirai

Originally published in Metropolis Magazine as "Inside the Homes and Workspaces of 8 Great Architects", this article shows the spaces occupied by some of the best-known architects in the world. Documented for an exhibition that will be featured at the Milan Design Week 2014, the images give a glimpse inside the private worlds of some of our favorite designers.

It's a cliche that architects have messy workspaces. From chaos comes creation, so the phrase goes. But an upcoming exhibition at this year's Salone del Mobile intends to dispel the myth.© Davide Pizzigoni Where Architects Live will present glimpses into the personal spaces of eight significant architects: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai.

Curator Francesca Molteni interviewed each of the designers in their private homes and came away with one finding: architects are actually quite tidy. The studios are all pristinely ordered; books are neatly stowed away, figurines and objets astutely displayed, and table tops swept clean. The photographs below are part of the exhibition materials, produced with the help of scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, which faithfully document the physical environments in images, video, and audio. These will be used to recreate the architects' "rooms" at Salone del Mobile in April.

© Davide PizzigoniWhere Architects Live is not limited to satisfying our curiosity about what these architects’ homes look like. Richard Rogers’ affirmation that “a room is the beginning of a city” resonates with the project’s aim in trying to articulate its subjects’ personal tastes and obsessions, and how those are reflected in their architectural work.

Read on to see more images of the inside of architects' homes and studios


Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban's Tokyo house. Image © Hiroyuki Hirai

© Davide PizzigoniBan completed his current home, situated in Tokyo's Hangei Forest district, in 2007. "The challenge, " Molteni writes, "was to avoid pulling down a single tree in the forest and to build a house around them." The house is riddled with ovoid-shaped cutouts which help to accomplish this goal, while also letting in generous amount of daylight and views. Ban's working area consists of a few evocative objects: a round table, a Terragni chair, a Greek bust, all set against a massive column of light. As Molteni concludes, "a Zen monk’s room."

Zaha Hadid

© Davide Pizzigoni

Zaha Hadid's London studio is filled with works that span the entirety of the architect's storied career. On the backwall are Hadid's early-period neo-Suprematist drawings, which take their cues from revolutionary Soviet formalists like El Lissitzky and Malevich; opposite them are more recent works highlighting ZHA's curvaceous, parametric turn of the last several years.

© Davide Pizzigoni © Davide Pizzigoni © Simon Menges © Davide Pizzigoni

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The average interior designer earns about $30,000 a year in their first year. Pay increases with experience.

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