Renzo Piano, Diogene, Campus Vitra

Le Corbusier, Renzo Piano,

Weil am Rhein, Germany,

Factories, University, Offices, Skyscraper, Sport & Wellness,


Glass, Wood,

Renzo Piano has created a minimalist house, just 4 m2 and 3 metres high for Campus Vitra, named Diogene after the ancient Greek philosopher who lived in a large ceramic jar.

Renzo Piano, Diogene, Campus Vitra
From Le Corbusier?sCabanon to the prefabricated structures of Charlotte Perriand, the Nakgin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa and recent examples in various parts of the world involving recycled containers, the theme ofminimalist housing has always been of interest for architects and sociologists.
This interest is seen in Diogene, designed by Renzo Piano and created for Campus Vitra, and is linked to the need to reduce the building?s ecological impact to a minimum, creating a self-sufficient and sustainable minimalist housing unit that is just 2 m x 2 m and 3 m high.
It is acomplex work, with systems to collect and recycle rainwater, photovoltaic cells and solar panels, windows with triple glazing and a biological toilet. Inside, the furnishings are limited to a sofa bed, a folding table, a toilet and a little kitchen. The wooden structure, covered by steel panels with a saddle roof, recalls thearchetypal "house", but the rounded corners and façade covering make it immediately legible as a contemporary and complex product suitable for industrial mass production.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Design: Renzo Piano
Location: Weil am Rhein, Germany
Images: courtesy of Vitra


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