Federico Babina imagines film stars living in architect-designed homes
Archilife by Federico Babina

Federico Babina imagines film stars living inside famous architect-designed houses

Movie stars including Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Marlon Brando make themselves at home in Modernist masterpieces by Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto and more, in this illustration series.

Archilife by Federico Babina

Created by Italian architect and illustrator Federico Babina, the Archilife series pairs 17 Hollywood film stars with some of the most famous architect-designed residences of the 20th century, from Gerrit Rietveld's Schröder House to the Haufmann House by Richard Neutra.

Archilife by Federico Babina

Each image shows the actor in the middle of some domestic activity, so Hepburn can be found meditating on a rug within the Eames house, while Cary Grant is ironing a shirt inside Oscar Niemeyer's Casa de Canoas.

Archilife by Federico Babina

Babina – whose previous illustrations have combined architecture with artworks, album covers, and even the faces of architects – said he came up with the idea for the project after studying photographs of numerous buildings and finding little household activity.

Archilife by Federico Babina

"I have never liked the lack of life in the architectural representations that are often aseptic, clean and neutral," he explained.

Archilife by Federico Babina

"The architecture is represented in a lonely estrangement from any disturbance of vision and all that belongs to our reality, it is cleaned and stripped of all context's traces," he added. "I often enjoy imagining what life would be like in these static images."

Archilife by Federico Babina

Babina depicts Marilyn Monroe lounging on a daybed inside Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House.

Archilife by Federico Babina

The architect's Barcelona Chairs can be spotted in the back of the scene, while Monroe's Christian Louboutin heels have been kicked off on the floor and a bottle of Chanel No. 5 rests on a shelf.

Archilife by Federico Babina

Another image shows Michael Caine vacuuming the carpet inside the Esherick House by Louis Kahn, while Paul Newman can be found talking on the phone inside Philip Johnson's Glass House.

Archilife by Federico Babina

"I wanted to do a graphic exercise of including life in a place born and meant for people," said Babina, whose last project involved placing the silhouettes of architects within a window from one of their buildings.

Archilife by Federico Babina

"I am representing architectural interiors, not as mere inanimate scenarios, but like sets of portraits of everyday life," he said.

Archilife by Federico Babina

"Who better than some of the myths of cinema to help me animate these scenes and to play themselves into a frame of an ordinary day?"

Archilife by Federico Babina

Some pairings are more likely than others – French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is shown inside Pierre Chareau's Maison de Verre in Paris, while American actor Jack Nicholson becomes the resident of Alvar Aalto's Villa Mairea in western Finland.

Archilife by Federico Babina

There's also one appearance from a film director – Alfred Hitchcock is depicted in the bathroom of the Villa Savoye.

Archilife by Federico Babina

"In Archilife, I imagine 17 little stories that try to approximate the architecture to reality," said Babina.

Archilife by Federico Babina

"In these pictures I try to exalt the 'banality of everyday life' by famous performers employed in simple actions that interact with the space that hosts them."

Archilife by Federico Babina

A final detail that can be spotted throughout the series is the addition of artwork on the walls of the buildings. On closer inspection, these are revealed as images from Babina's Archiportraits series.

Archilife by Federico Babina