It's unclear as to whether myth-busting was on the original agenda of 'Where Architects Live', a show of installations by Francesca Molteni and Davide Pizzigoni at this year's Salone del Mobile. Molteni's project has evolved over nine months, and initially began as an insight into the personal living space of some of the world's most acclaimed architects.
The curator, director and educator has run the MUSE Factory of Projects since 2003 and has been intimately involved with the Salone for many years. 'We thought it would be interesting to see how the big names of architecture, the ones who are really changing the world, live,' Molteni says. 'Do they rent? Do they just have a place to sleep in? Is it a house or an apartment?'
Even though Molteni maintains that the idea 'wasn't voyeuristic, but the idea of discovering details about the connections between their life and work', potential participants weren't convinced. 'What we discovered was that it was hard for them to open the doors to the public. It was a private world, their only place to be out of public life.'
Instead, what has emerged is a hybrid of new design and personal autobiography. After visiting, filming and photographing the subjects, Molteni and Pizzigoni, an architect and theatre designer, have created eight 10 sq m installations in the Fiera's Pavilion 9. The intention is to create a domestic sphere that draws inspiration from the real homes of each participant, conjuring up their material and spatial qualities as well as the relationship between place, things and life.
And what participants. The involvement of Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai will certainly pique the interest of most Salone-goers. 'They opened their private homes for filming,' says Molteni, 'and we took photographs and sketches, collecting all the elements needed to design the installations.' The result delivers an undeniable thrill as you step over the thresholds of these industry titans.
For the full, unabridged version of this article, turn to our May 2014 issue - out now