© Diana Lanciotti
Save it: La Cupola
Dante Bini, Costa Paradiso, Sardinia, Italy, 1970s

Docomomo International wishes to raise attention on the risk that Michelangelo Antonioni’s dome La Cupola, designed by Dant Bini in the 1970s, in Costa Paradiso, Sardinia, Italy, is facing due to its abandonment and neglection and consequent advanced state of damage, which will lead in a near future to its irreversible loss if not restored.

Designed by Dante Bini for director Michelangelo Antonioni and actress Monica Vitti, this futuristic residence was built in Costa Paradiso during the 1970s. The building represents a place of great artistic and architectural value, it is a structure defined by Rem Koolhaas, curator of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, as “one of the best buildings of the last hundred years” but also the vivid testimony of a life spent among its unique circular walls by one of the greatest film directors in the history of cinema of all time.

Remembering a sci-fi set, this famous futuristic house, intended to be a holiday residence, is singular due to its circular-based plan and  monolithic, reinforced concrete thin-shell structure that was lifted and shaped by low air pressure.

Today it is in a complete state of abandonment and neglect, due to the passage of time and lack of a proper restoration. Several concrete components are highly deteriorated, in particular on the entrance bridge. “The interiors, where the original furnishings of the 70s are still present, are surprisingly in good condition even if some signs of illegal occupation have been detected.”

Even though, the dome continues to attract cinephiles, journalists and curious people from all over the world – they are attracted not only due to “the wild and breathtaking scenery that surrounds the house, typical of the Costa Paradiso, but especially to the possibility of seeing up close a home that was once inhabited by some of the greatest personalities of the European film history; to imagine the atmosphere of Monica Vitti walking down the staircase of the living room on a lazy summer afternoon, while looking through the (now) dusty window that overlooks the open sea is what is called a unique experience.”

“In recent years the dome has been the object of various artistic and cultural initiatives, as narrated by the documentary ‘La Cupola’ by German director Volker Sattel, that include the My Antonioni event, organized by the Italian Institute of Culture in San Francisco with the intervention of Dante Bini, many photo shoots of great fashion brands and several stories published by magazines from all over the world.”

In this context, the interest in undertaking its recovery was first shown in 2015 when the Superintendence of the Province of Sassari and Nuoro declared it a place of cultural interest. However, on that occasion, the current owners complained as they wanted to avoid the protective constraints imposed by the MIBACT.

For this reason, to stop irreversible damage and deterioration by time and to avoid vandalisation, De Rebus Sardois started a petition to raise awareness among the local and national institutions involving the current ownership, so that can be proceeded with the proper restoration of La Cupola and its possible opening to the public.

De Rebus Sardois states that “in fact, there would be many possible ideas for enhancing the property: from exhibition space to museum complex. It would be a question of redeveloping a place that today is already visited by hundreds of tourists and onlookers from all over the world, as evidenced by the numerous spontaneous reviews of the place. In short, it would be an opportunity to create a cultural and tourist attraction space that would benefit the property, the community of Trinità d’Agultu and the whole of Sardinia.”

To know more, please visit the De Rebus Sardois website.
The interview of architect Dante Bini by ARQUITECTURA-G from 2017 about the residence, and published in Apartamento Magazine #17, can be read on ARQUITECTURA-G or Hidden Architecture.

Sign the petition here: http://chng.it/hy52MqLshR