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La Cupola

Sardegna, Italy
1 of 17

Architect and inventor Dante Bini designed the La Cupola house for the famous Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni and his lover, actress Monica Vitti, in Sardinia in the late 60s. The primal dome structure is located on the pink granite rocks of Costa Paradiso, once a secluded part of northern Sardinia. The love-nest house was barely used, because by 1972, Vitti and Antonioni were already at the end of their love affair. Since then the deserted Cupola slowly collapses into the ruins of forgotten passions.

Concept and Structure

La Cupola is built according to the Binishell method, which was invented by architect Dante Bini by the end of the 1950s. A Binishell is large reinforced concrete dome shaped and lifted by air pressure. The structure made of concrete and reinforcing steel and can be inflated by a large membrane in around one hour. From the ground to the spatial structure. Openings in the dome are literally cut out from a thin layer of concrete wherever needed for a window or passing through.

There is little public information available about the structure of La Cupola in Sardinia. The dome has about 19.5m in diameter and about 6m in height. It is not clear whether all the rooms of the dome has been built completely by the original plans of architect Bini. Antonioni forbade his architect from any describing the house publicly or publishing photographs of it.

Mediteranean Organisation

The rooms of the house are organized in two floors around an open atrium, large living area has several intermediate rocky levels and an organic cinematic staircase that leads to the main bedroom. From the upper floor a concrete passarella is reaching out of the dome as a bond between house and landscape. Strange curved windows and integrated external terraces captured dramatic views and scents of the Mediterranean.

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bostjan, March 8th, 2021
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