"Archist City" by Federico Babina (All images courtesy of the artist)

“Archist City” by Federico Babina (All images courtesy of the artist)

Everyone dreams about having a great piece of art to one day hang in their home or office. But to illustrator Federico Babina, that’s dreaming too small. Why not have the building you inhabit be itself a work of art?

In his series Archist City, Babina appropriates 27 artists’ visual vocabularies to design buildings that you could — in his dream world, at least — actually live and work in. The result is a witty reinterpretation of modern and contemporary art. 

Roy Lichenstein’s abode is predictably covered in newspaper dots, while Piet Mondrian’s is all squares and rectangles. James Turrell’s is lit by neon and flourescent lights, and Richard Serra’s is constructed from the same Cor-Ten steel he uses in his sculptures. Salvador Dali’s is an eerie, alien-looking chrysalis held up by stilts — possibly just as uninhabitable as his paintings.

Some of the designs draw from specific artworks, like the one inspired by Marcel Duchamp. It’s crowned by a bicycle wheel referencing his sculpture, “Roue de Bicyclette.” The lower level of Damien Hirst’s contains the shark from his 2005 sculpture “The Wrath of God.” The walls in Warhol’s home, seen in cross-section, are painted with his iconic image of Marilyn Monroe, while two Campbell’s soup cans serve as outbuildings on the roof. 

Babina’s series presents a playful way to highlight the ongoing dialogue between art and architecture. “The definition and function of architecture is changing constantly with the development of contemporary art,” he told Dezeen. “A sculpture is like a micro-architecture, a facade can become like a painted canvas and a building can be shaped as in the hands of a skilled sculptor.”

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Babina 2

Laura C. Mallonee

Laura C. Mallonee is a Brooklyn-based writer. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from NYU and a B.F.A. in painting from Missouri State University. She enjoys exploring new cities and...