BBC Culture

Beautiful homes of famous architects

  • Shigeru Ban

    A new exhibition – part of Milan Design Week 2014 – peers into the houses of some of the most iconic architects working today. This image shows the 2014 Pritzker Prize laureate Shigeru Ban’s tranquil Tokyo home. It is in the Hanegi Forest apartment building designed by Ban in 1997, which was built without pulling down a single tree. Integrating a forest into the architectural plan, it references Le Corbusier and Ozenfant’s 1925 Pavilion de l’Esprit Nouveau. “The architects I respect ... kept designing houses until they died – that’s my hope,” he says in a video accompanying the Milan installation. (Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai)

  • Mario Bellini

    “If I had to sum up what my house is like, I’d say it’s one huge, tall, tall bookcase which I walk around, touching my books: sometimes I tidy them up and every now and then I leave them in a terrible mess so that I have difficulty finding them again – but it’s really the heart of my home,” says Italian architect Mario Bellini. His Milanese house – in a 19th Century building reworked by Piero Portaluppi – is designed around a triple-height library that is 9m tall; he reaches the higher shelves via a scaffolding system. (Photo: Davide Pizzigoni)

  • Marcio Kogan

    Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan lives in Sao Paulo, on the 12th floor of a building he designed himself – it was his first winning competition entry in 1980. Like Bellini, he has a grand piano, in among collections of sculptures and travel souvenirs. A giant window frames the view over the city, a place he loves: “I wouldn’t like to live in a quiet place far from all this neurosis,” he says. “From outside you might think it’s madness. I adore this crazy life, I just love it.” (Photo: Romulo Fialdini)

  • David Chipperfield

    David Chipperfield’s home reflects the British architect’s restrained architectural approach. After he was commissioned to rebuild Berlin’s Neues Museum in 1997, he chose to base both his house and studio in the city. With a few 1950s and 1960s Italian furnishings, it has just two colours: the green of a velvet sofa and the orange of a bookcase that divides the space between the kitchen and sitting room. “A house is a private place, but at the same time I think, as communal animals, the house is not innocent in terms of it’s not just about going and sleeping, and having a fridge,” he says. “All of us, I think, see our house as a frontier between a private comfort and the first step of where we meet people.” (Photo: Davide Pizzigoni)

  • Zaha Hadid

    Zaha Hadid has fond memories of her childhood home in Baghdad. “When I moved away, I was like a gypsy – I never really settled down in one place that was home for me,” she says. The designer, who is known for curving forms with fragmented geometry, now lives in an open space in London filled with models of projects from throughout her career. They are displayed on organically shaped surfaces, alongside original artworks – early designs inspired by the Russian artist El Lissitzky hang on her walls. “I think with these private houses for architects, you either do them as a first house – like a first statement of your ideas – or you have to do them when you’re retiring. I’m not ready to retire yet.” (Photo: Davide Pizzigoni)

  • Daniel Libeskind

    After living in Poland, Tel Aviv, Milan and Berlin, Daniel Libeskind chose New York as his home. The master planner of the World Trade Centre redevelopment lives in Tribeca, close to Ground Zero. His apartment features a drawing board, Le Corbusier chairs – and a table he designed himself. It has followed him throughout his journeys: “It’s the first thing I ever designed when I came to Milan, we didn’t have anything – we were sitting on the floor, we had no beds – we had nothing.” (Photo: Nicola Tranquillino)

  • Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas

    Italian architects Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas live in Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris. Former inhabitants include Fernand Pouillon, architect of the old port of Marseille after the war, and Renzo Piano, who together with Richard Rogers designed the Pompidou Centre. They have added Jean Prouvé furniture and artworks, from Fontana to Paladino, to original features like the grand fireplace. (Photo: Aki Furudate)

  • Bijoy Jain

    Part of a community where Studio Mumbai’s Bijoy Jain lives and works with 60 craftsmen, this house has the handcrafted feel of his designs. In the Indian countryside at Alibag, 30 km from the centre of Mumbai, it features a swimming pool set amid ancient trees and a reading room, designed by Bijoy to capture the lights and shadows of the day. He feels his home belongs to all: “It’s not a ‘Bijoy house’, it’s a collection of many people who participate.” (Photo: Francesca Molteni)