QKING / Modourbano Architettura

© Simone Bossi

Architects: Modourbano Architettura
Location: Via Giuseppe Tartini, Milan,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Simone Bossi

Competition Entry: Romanian Pavilion (Milan Expo 2015) / Collective East Architects

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Placing sixth in the competition to design the Romanian Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo, Collective East Architects offered a “simple and powerful landmark” that focuses on the history of Romania’s agriculture. Serving as an “attractor and orientation mark,” the structure was conceived by repeating a traditional Romanian pattern that “transformed the pavilion into a sculptural object with a powerful national identify.” From a distance, the facade appears “introverted and impenetrable;” as viewers move closer, the building begins to expose its contents, revealing a level of detail one would expect in a “jewelry museum.”  

MVRDV Exhibits Furniture Series “Vertical Village” at Milan Design Week

Vertical Village in Milan. Image © Gili Merin

, in cooperation with the Belgian furniture label Sixinch, have designed a playful furniture series that imagines an antidote to the sprawled, generic urban growth of East Asia’s mega-cities. Each of the 77 large cushions in “Vertical Village” – currently on display at Milan’s Design Week – take the form of small, densely-packed houses, colorful alternatives to the horizontal, block-like residential buildings that currently dot East Asia’s skylines. From the :

“The Vertical Village – observation of the uncontrolled growth of Asian cities, which has lead to the disappearance of urban villages on a human scale, prompts the designers to develop a livable city model that promotes upward growth: a vertical village composed of small residential nuclei that ensure human relationships and, at the same time, leave room for green areas and gathering places. The installation is composed of 77 large cushions in the form of small houses, all different.”

Learning Center FLA / Studio Marinoni

© Giovanni Chiaramonte

Architects: Studio Marinoni
Location: Corso Sempione, 36, 20154 , Italy
Year: 2012
Photographs: Giovanni Chiaramonte

Competition Entry: Austrian Pavilion (Milan Expo 2015) / Paolo Venturella

© wemage, Courtesy of

Placing fifth in the international competition to design the Austrian Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo, Paolo Venturella’s concept is designed as an extruded version of the Austrian mountain house that connects two major programs: an exhibition space and “big green-house.” To the north, the elevated exhibition space is shielded by a fabric sheathing which diminishes as it moves towards the greenhouse, south, where visitors are presented with a fresh vegetable garden, bar and restaurant that serves traditional cuisine. 

White Wave / Piuarch

Courtesy of

Architects: Piuarch
Location: Milan, Italy
Architect In Charge: Francesco Fresa, Germán Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario
Area: 22500.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Piuarch

Milan Expo 2015: Tsinghua University with Studio Link-Arc to Design China Pavilion

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Tsinghua University, alongside New York-based Studio Link-Arc, has been announced as winners of a competition to design the Chinese Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Expanding on the Expo’s overarching theme, “Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life,” the pavilion’s “Land of Hope” is centered on the idea that “hope can be realized when nature and the city exist in harmony.”

Milan Expo 2015: Eight Teams Shortlisted to Design UK Pavilion

Site, prior to construction

Eight multidisciplinary teams have been selected to move forward in the second stage of competition to design the Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo. Drawing inspiration from the theme “Grown in Britain: Shared Globally,” the teams will now envision proposals that showcase Britain’s contribution in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to the global challenges addressed by the overarching exposition theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Presentations will commence mid-April and a winner will be announced in May. View the selected teams, after the break.

Inside the Homes of Eight Famous Architects

’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. 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.

Where 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

AD Classics: Pirelli Tower / Gio Ponti, Pier Luigi Nervi

© Flickr user IK’s World Trip

In contrast with its traditional Milanese surroundings, the Pirelli Tower is one of the earliest examples of Modern skyscrapers in Italy.  Affectionately called “Il Pirellone” (The Big Pirelli), the 127 meter tower stood as ’s tallest building from 1958 to 1995.  The design of the structure, led by architect/designer Gio Ponti and engineer Pier Luigi Nervi, featured a tapered plan—as opposed to the conventional rectilinear volume which was prevalent in America—encouraging greater creative freedom during a time when skyscrapers typically lacked experimentation.

House in Milan / Rangr Studio + Charlet Design

© Mikiko Kikuyama

Architects: Rangr Studio + Charlet Design
Location: Milan, NY, USA
Design Team: Jasmit Singh Rangr, Laurent Charlet
Year: 2012
Photographs: Mikiko Kikuyama

Competition Entry: Russian Pavilion (Milan Expo 2015) / Architects of Invention

© Architects of Invention

London-Moscow-Tbilisi-based practice Architects of Invention has completed a proposal for the Russian Pavilion at the 2015 Expo as a part of the Expo’s Herzog  & de Meuron-designed masterplan. Designed to evoke the connotation that Russia is one of the biggest agriculture exporters in the world, the pavilion “Russia: The Fields of Growth” will contribute to the Expo’s theme of “Feeding the Planet”, and at the same time introduce a dynamic and powerful image of the modern Russia that originates in the country’s great past.

Milan Expo 2015: NJP, LAD Win Competition for Iranian Pavilion

© NJP, LAD

Naqsh,E,Jahan-Pars (NJP), in collaboration with the Laboratorio di Architettura e Design (LAD), has been named winner of an international competition for the Iranian Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Based on “a living process narrative in the central plateau of Iran,” the winning scheme responds to the Expo’s “Feeding the Planet” theme by exposing the underground channels of water that give life to Iran’s many desert cities. 

Competition Entry: Austrian Pavilion (Milan Expo 2015) / Bence Pap | Mario Gasser

© Bence Pap |

This proposal by architects Bence Pap and Mario Gasser of Studio Greg Lynn / University of Applied Arts Vienna has been ranked fourth in an international competition for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Inspired by the Expo’s theme, “We feed the World – Energy for Life,” the pavilion aims to highlight Austria’s rich culture of craft and agriculture by offering a two-story experience that exhibits goods unique to the country.

Milan Expo 2015: Foster Unveils Design for UAE Pavilion

© Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners have unveiled the design for the pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Designed to evoke the experience of walking through ’s ancient communities, the elongated site will be transformed into a contemporary reinterpretation of a desert city. Passive principles, such as rainwater harvesting and the integration of photovoltaic cells, are targeted to achieve LEED Platinum certification. These strategies are all designed to support the pavilion’s many dining areas, which embrace the Expo’s overarching theme “Feeding the Planet” by serving a taste of modern Emirarti cuisine. 

“We are very proud to be chosen again to create the national pavilion for the UAE,” stated Norman Foster. “Our challenge has been to design for two climates – to create a naturally cool, comfortable space for visitors in Milan, while considering the pavilion’s ultimate reconstruction in the Emirates, where there is a need to provide shade from the intense sun.”

Competition Entry: ‘My Iran’ (Expo Milan 2015) / Akaran Architects & IRANBON

Courtesy of

Akaran Architects, in collaboration with IRANBON, have been selected as one of four finalist for their proposal ‘My ,’ a pavilion representing the Islamic Republic of in the Milan Expo 2015. The team will now join the other finalists to refine their ideas into a single proposal. The rectangular site (20 by 100 meters) is a ‘resonant landscape,’ aiming to showcase the central theme: feeding the planet, energy for life

RCS Building / Boeri Studio

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Architects: Boeri Studio
Location: Via Angelo Rizzoli, 8, 20132 Milan,
Architect In Charge: Boeri Studio
Design Team: Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra
Area: 22000.0 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Courtesy of Boeri Studio

La Corte Verde di Corso Como / Cino Zucchi Architetti

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Architects: Cino Zucchi Architetti
Location: Porta Nuova, Piazzale Principessa Clotilde, 20121 , Italy
Area: 4019.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Cino Zucchi Architetti