Salvatori presents The Village, a project featuring a series of abstract miniature houses made from the company’s natural stones by a group of designers and architects including John Pawson, Patricia Urquiola, Yabu Pushelberg, and Kengo Kuma, unveiled throughout 2021.

Designers imagine post-pandemic domestic life

‘Over the past year we have all had to come to terms with the space we call home, living in it with an intensity like never before,’ observes the company’s CEO Gabriele Salvatori. ‘We have looked around our home with fresh eyes, thinking how we would like to change it. And we realised that our home is a haven and as such, it has to reflect who we are and how we live.’

Miniature house in dark stone by John Pawson
‘House of Stone’ by John Pawson, carved from a single block of Pietra d’Avola limestone

Each architect was invited to think about what ‘home’ means to them, creating a series of miniature houses to reflect their approach to domestic life. Salvatori hopes that this eclectic mix will show new ways of living fit for the world recovering fom a global pandemic, and inspired both by traditional domestic spaces and ideas for the future. The first pieces to be unveiled from the ever-growing collection offer a glimpse into the mix of approaches to expect. 

‘Over the past year, many of us have spent unusual amounts of time at home. The object I have made is an expression of the iconography of home taught to us in childhood’ – John Pawson

‘I wanted to create a volume that is both absolutely simple and deeply evocative,’ says British architectural designer John Pawson, whose minimalist house is made from a a single block of Pietra d’Avola limestone. ‘House of Stone is an archetypal form in miniature, stripped of every extraneous detail. Over the past year, many of us have spent unusual amounts of time at home. The object I have made is an expression of the iconography of home taught to us in childhood – or at least one version of it.’

Green marble sculpture by Rodolfo Dordoni for Salvatori
A design in Verde Alpi marble by Rodolfo Dordoni, part of his ‘Novecento’ collection

Dordoni’s design is titled ‘Novecento’, and features a quartet of miniature houses referencing rationalist and modernist Italian architecture. ‘My contribution to The Village originates between playfulness and rationality, from the combination of architecture, sculpture and design. It is an homage to our history and story,’ says the Italian designer.

‘We have all become domestic navigators, trying to orient ourselves to these new latitudes, ways of living’ – Patricia Urquiola

More subtle in its use of stone, Urquiola’s contribution to the initiative comes in the form of two angular pieces: ‘Alma’, made of Rosa Portogallo marble and ‘Petra’, in Travertine. The two small homes by Urquiola feature straight lines and a play of light and shadow, and the designer’s pieces (collectively named ‘Kore’, a reference to Greek statues) are created to evoke domestic warmth and intimacy. ‘The Village is a reflection on domestic spaces, something that is more important than ever today,’ she says. ‘Home has become the centre of our lives, our town or city, our habitat. We have all become domestic navigators, trying to orient ourselves to these new latitudes, ways of living.’

White stone sculptures by Yabu Pushelberg for Salvatori
sculptural stone miniature houses designed by Patricia Urquiola for Salvatori

Designs from the ‘Assembly’ collection (top) by Yabu Pushelberg; and ‘Alma’, made of Rosa Portogallo marble and ‘Petra’, in Travertine, by Patricia Urquiola (above), part of The Village by Salvatori

Yabu Pushelberg’s ‘Assembly’ collection (comprising three pieces, representing the individual, the community and their intersection) features compositions characterised by stacked elements and a window-like opening. The designers focused on the materials’ properties, but also looked into ‘studies of light and shadow, monumental design, tension and expansion’ while designing their pieces. ‘These forms are mysterious yet approachable, inciting limitless wonder and curiosity in the individual inhabiting their space,’ they say. 

The project will culminate with an exhibition showcasing the entire collection of miniature houses later in the year. ‘During this period, there was an incredible sense of global solidarity that united us around the world,’ says Salvatori. ‘We began to understand that we are all neighbours, and our lives depend on each other.’ §