Casa per tutti at Milan Triennale



Construction is underway on prototype houses by architects Alejandro Aravena, Massimiliano Fuksas, MVRDV, I-Beam Design, The Mad Housers and Kengo Kuma in the grounds of the Milan Triennale as part of the exhibition Casa Per Tutti (Housing For All), which opens this week.


The exhibition opens on 23 May and aims to address problems related to housing. Visitors will be able to explore the structures until 14 September. Top and above: house by Massimiliano Fuksas.


Dutch architects MVRDV have designed a pavilion (above) called House of Clothes - The Milan Fashion Brick. It's made from Milanese second hand clothes packaged in blocks.


Kengo Kuma's shelter (above) is based on the structure and mechanics of an umbrella.


American organisation The Mad Housers have constructed more than 40 huts like the one shown above for homeless people around Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


See more about the Pallet house (above) by I-Beam design in our previous story.


The following information is from the Triennale:


Casa per tutti
Milan Triennale
May-September 2008

As part of Triennale Architettura, the Milan Triennale is this year holding an International Forum on the problems of housing, coordinated by Aldo Bonomi and Fulvio Irace and divided into two events: the Casa per tutti [Housing for all] exhibition, fitting into the Milan Triennale tradition which took the home as its principal theme way back in 1933.


Casa per tutti
The July 2005 exhibition Le Case nella Triennale [Houses in the Triennale] reconstructed the main stops on the journey, which then flowed into the creation of the QT8 model neighbourhood under the direction of Piero Bottoni.In taking up this mission again, the Casa per tutti exhibition (23 May – 14 September 2008), coordinated by Fulvio Irace and Carlos Sambricio with Matteo Agnoletto, Silvia Berselli, Teresa Feraboli, Federico Ferrari, Gabriele Neri and Jeffrey Schnapp, exhibition design by Cliostraat and graphics by GrafCo3, thus relaunches a theme that has been almost completely abandoned by international architecture in the past 25 years: habitation.


While efforts in the first half of the 20th century were concentrated on redefining the theme of collective housing, in the second half interest shifted to other themes. Called upon to represent the changeable face of a society apparently based only on material and cultural consumption, architecture thus produced many icons in the area of museums, theatres and concert halls, sports facilities, skyscrapers.


The exhibition aims to provide constructive design responses to the social interaction requirements of communities or individuals deprived of the basic right to a home, bringing back onto the agendas of architects and their clients the theme of the house as a primary resource in the difficult situations caused by the many forms of urban and environmental emergency.


Thus it puts forward problems and attempts to classify them according to an interpretation that alternates history and contemporaneity around a few main genres such as the furniture-house, the cabin-house, the prefabricated house, the macro-house, the minimal house. In order to strengthen the message, the Triennale returns to the roots of its past exhibitions, with prototypes to be built to scale in the garden.


So the public will be able to move among the housing models specially designed for the Triennale by Alejandro Aravena, Massimiliano Fuksas, MVRDV and Kengo Kuma, who will also speak at a large conference on 16 May devoted to the theme of the house.


During the exhibition period, in collaboration with the Milan Polytechnic and the Italian division of Architects Without Borders, Professor Camillo Magni of the Civil Architecture Faculty, together with his students, will coordinate the workshop “Costruire con la gente” [Building with the people] at Triennale Bovisa: a week of work experimenting to find the building processes most suited to the conditions in developing countries


Casa per tutti Competition
As part of the exhibition the Milan Triennale, under the aegis of the Milan Polytechnic, has announced an international competition for the purpose of selecting a series of designs for habitable modules that can offer a possible solution to housing emergencies in metropolitan areas and areas affected by unforeseen disasters.


The competition is open to young designers with an Architecture, Design or Engineering degree. A full scale model of the winning design will be built and displayed in the Milan Triennale garden. The prizewinners and other outstanding designs will be displayed in the atrium of the Triennale, and all the projects submitted for the competition will be publicised through the website at


With the support of:
The Milan City Council, Local Development Office
Province of Milan, Office for the metropolitan area strategic plan


Casa per tutti
Coordinators Fulvio Irace and Carlos Sambricio, with Matteo Agnoletto, Silvia Berselli, Teresa Feraboli, Federico Ferrari, Gabriele Neri and Jeffrey Schnapp
Exhibition design by Cliostraat
Graphic design by GrafCo3
Catalogue by Triennale-Electa
Hours 10.30-20.30, closed Monday
Entrance fee: 8/6/5 euro





Posted on Tuesday May 20th 2008 at 8:40 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • poster

    the only one with a bit of interest it Kuma’s one. The rest seem crap

  • D

    I think they all are crap.

  • Fling

    What about a tent? A two person tent for two people, and then for families of four, you could have a 4 person tent, or two two person tents. For a family of six, you cold have either three two person tents, one four person tent and one two person tent. And then with the money you save from not having to fund these pointless prototypes, you could buy them tea and some fleece pyjamas.

  • Bozo

    I think you’re crap

  • kumakuma

    i agree with poster, kuma’s design is by far the most interesting.

  • bioz segundo

    House of Clothes –
    this is just ridiculs

  • CPCP

    kuma’s idea is great! but it looks flimsy. not something I’d like to stay in during a thunderstorm. the rest i agree are disappointing!

    I still think exercises/breifs such as this are very good and have their place – even if the majority of solutions are failures – they can still spark ideas and inspire!

  • CPCP
  • M.

    Does “For all” includes people with wheelchair?

  • edward

    These design exercises are great for young designers, but has anything ever come of them? One would think that at some point a design would emerge that would fulfill the goal of a affordable, inspiring, beautiful, practical,
    reusable, sheltering, design. But nada.

  • franco

    amazing Fuksas!

    reminds me Bucky’s…

  • Jessy

    I like very much the idea of showing project at the real scale!

    MVRDV not so good

    I’ve seen the Pallet House and it seems an amazing idea!

  • Bozo

    Bozo, you took my name. give it back you tosser

  • Camila

    I really can’t believe what I see on these pictures, as far as I understood the research was for emergency housing, not for pet housing!!!

  • Joaquin

    Hmmm…as an open competition for all, I’m quite doubtful what a list of BIG NAMES I’m seeing here. I hate to think it’s a setup, but looks like it is.

    And I do agree. MVRDV’s entry is disappointing. Very political this competition is.

    i.e. Fuksas is Italian, the rest are European and BIG names. Kuma’s got one hell of a connection with Italy.

    I believe there should’ve been more interesting solutions from Asian entries, since the problem of shelters are more common in the eastern developing countries. At least a better one to replace MVRDV’s.

  • Zeitgeist

    MVRDV’s worst idea

  • the associate

    As far as i know it was not a competition, it was comissioned to celeb arquis. As simple as this, no fake setup there. But I agree these creative oportunities should be given not to celebrities that are too busy to put the necessary attention that the design of these pavilions require.

    I see these as prototipes to provoque discussion and obviously not real solutions… of course a tent is cheaper but doesnt provoque discussion, wheelchairs cant access… so?, some seem for pets… but beacuse they are unconventional proposals, some seem week… because they are challenging new structure systems. Of course all have imperfections because they are discussions and not solutions. But in any case discussions that can become one day solutions.

    In each of these pavilions there is a discussion… some are superficial, or even silly, and others are very ambitious, but in any case there is discussion… and for sure: a lot of work and effort.

  • the associate

    i forgot… from the pictures, Kenzo Kuma’s work seems the best… actually brilliant.

  • The Mad Housers units (I’m the balding guy in the photo with the unpainted hut) aren’t design studies – we’ve been building them and giving them away for over twenty years now, to literally hundreds of clients. They’re not pretty and not large, but they’re secure and warm, and our clients are grateful to have them.

  • Eduardo

    Kenzo Kuma’s is just amazing…

  • Bozo II

    This is the real Bozo… shut ut you fake Bozo’s

    These houses are great, even for me a real clown!

  • Bozo III

    No, this is the real Bozo.

    These houses are awful. A real clown does not like to live in a house made of clothes, especially if he is a naturalist.

  • Josh

    I could not really see how these could be viably used to combat homelessness. Too many materials, not durable..
    Have any of these designers been on the other side of the track?
    Artistic, aesthetically pleasing and useless.

  • Josh

    P.S. The Mad Housers are the exception, they obviously know what they are doing. And as someone who has been homeless, I honestly thank you – Even if you may never read it :)

  • Rob

    I could be wrong …. but this really is a waste of money. None of these are practical, none are feasible and the travel was a waste of carbon. It will help nobody so why must it pretend to justify itself with a social objective ?

    When design masquerades as being a pretty cure for inequality and a sop to a lack of responsible social policy design helps nobody. This is architectural voyeurism, irresponsible and distasteful.

    Would it not just have been more honest to declare it’s purpose to have been “Travel-a-couple-of thousand-miles-and-bring-your-Shed-Expo”