Domestic Action: Living in a House for Jumpers Giancarlo De Carlo’s House for Sichirollo: Ca’ Romanino


  • John McKean



Urban Design, Physical Geography, Urban Planning, Giancarlo De Carlo, Urbino


This essay interrogates domesticity in a rare example of a dwelling designed by Giancarlo De Carlo.
What makes a Modernist home? Le Corbusier was horrified at how the dwellings of his idealised alpha males contradicted their active lives, being stuffed (as he saw it) with sham and bric-a-brac.
So how does De Carlo represent domesticity for his academic philosopher client? Is Schindler’s paradigm ‘Shelter or playground’ a useful caption for this De Carlo house outside Urbino?
If philosophy is seen as mental gymnastics (the trope of Stoppard’s play ‘Jumpers’), is this realised in the literal gymnastic ‘climbing frame’ of Casa Sichirollo? De Carlo scorns an interior design which ‘completes’ or forms a role for the client. Here, designing with a humanist, phenomenological focus more on events than objects, his client becomes active subject rather than the passive object of his dwelling.
Philosophical ideas from the sessantotto times which produced Casa Sichirollo underpin the argument developed here, particularly philosopher Roger Poole’s Towards Deep Subjectivity which the author found in De Carlo’s library.
Adolf Loos’ wariness of photographs was a sense which De Carlo shared, turning architectural experience in the complexity of space and relying on bodily movement in time, into visually beguiling surfaces. This essay, largely without pictorial imagery, is followed by a gallery of images without verbal explanation.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

McKean, J. (2020). Domestic Action: Living in a House for Jumpers Giancarlo De Carlo’s House for Sichirollo: Ca’ Romanino. Histories of Postwar Architecture, 2(5), 13–48.