The castle belonged to the Ventimiglia family, a powerful medieval family that erected numerous castles and palaces throughout Sicily. More recent history has seen the area around Sperling at the centre of fighting during the allied invasion of Sicily in the Second World War. It was near Sperlinga that Robert Capa took the famous picture that became symbolic of this campaign.
It was a pity that arriving there we were presented with the Italian ‘special’ welcome when you visit cultural sites: “Closed until further notice…”. Well at least there was the consolation of the intriguing troglodyte dwellings, worthy of Star Wars’ Tattoine or a Peter Jackson movie.
PS. If interested, you can purchase a historic buildings in Gangi for 1 Euro, as long as you commit to refurbishing it.
Our big screen debut! We are proud to have been part of this docu/fiction on Cava d’Ispica.
Our friend and former colleague Wynne James has produced a number of poetic and insightful illustrations for us, including those of the 00-Mobile. Here we showcase some of what we believe to be his best works.
Inspired by Dick Dastardly’s infamous ‘00’ from the Whacky Races cartoon, we have created our own mean machine, for site visits, expeditions and much more. It even has its own kettle…
After just four weeks on site, our new ‘architecture workshop’ in Modica, Italy, is complete and was inaugurated just in time for the Christmas holidays!
Construction projects are akin to adventurous journeys which often take several unexpected twists and turns. This house transformation to create greater and improved living spaces for an Auckland family is now on site and speeding ahead.
We are proud to be part of the organization for the Air_Space International Design Workshop at Comiso airport, a week of design experimentation looking at a sustainable future of the former Nato base. Over thirty students from six universities are attending and a number of esteemed professionals and academics are giving lectures and providing master-classes.
Works are proceeding speedily on the transformation of this eighteenth century small house into a self-sufficient sustainable home.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe once said “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is to not have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything”. Nowhere is the sacred and profane more mixed up than in the thousands of religious celebrations such as this one in Aci Sant’Antonio.
“How about we go on a road trip this summer?”. Over 11,000 km later we completed the round-trip to the top of Scotland and saw many of the marvels of Europe along the way.
As part of the 6th edition of the Welcome to Paradise arts festival, ZeroZero was asked to do an installation. We chose the theme of the journey through parallel universes, imagining the stories of Maui and Ulysses set in a distant future.
Its’ only Rock and Roll and we like it…
A source of inspiration for many, Cava D’Ispica was the subject of projects at the University of Auckland in 2014 and 2015 (see Drawing Parallels Issues 002 and 003). This conference by ZeroZero aimed at highlighting the sustainable development potential of historic sites by showing the students’ work
A docu-film exploring the natural and historical heritage of Cava d’Ispica was being filmed this month and Mark was asked to take part. Coming soon to cinemas near you…
Third year Architecture students from the University of Nottingham visited Modica, Ragusa and especially Cava d’Ispica to learn about new interventions in historic contexts. It must have been an inspiring trip judging by the quality of their work!
Wonderful day out driving quadbikes up an active volcano. Luckily the worst of the eruption had ended…
What a way to start the Christmas festivities... Mount Etna puts on a light and sound show with its biggest eruption in two years!
As part of the Naxos Air Show of this year, we were treated to a wonderful display of the Italian air force aerobatic team, made even better by the approaching storm over the sea.
Negotiating a 7m long campervan around hairpin bends in the Alps was always going to be a challenge!
Back working on one of the most important projects in Sicily of the last 20 years, HOK’s Centro per le Biotecnologie e la Ricerca Biomedica in Palermo. It is great to contribute to such a significant and innovative project.
21 million people visited the Universal Exhibition in Milan, we did too!
Sicilian villages have won the title of best in Italy two years in a row. A few posts ago we visited Montalbano, now Gangi who won in 2014 and Sperlinga, a village with a castle literally growing out of a huge rock.
Over the last couple of decades, New Zealand has undergone a coffee revolution, but why have coffee before a meal?
Montalbano Elicona , near Messina , won the 2015 title of most beautiful village in Italy . Worth a trip?
How is the Architect seen by the general public?
S. George’s day in Modica, a mixture of religious symbolism, football-like celebrations and a sound and light show.
Spring, a time of phenomenal renewal, symbolic of starting new projects, sewing new seeds and coming forth with new ideas…and 151 boxes. It always seems impossible until it is done!
Judge a book by the cover! Always captivating and fascinating novel, where one can find friendship, love , spirit of adventure and thirst for justice.
“Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” 1959 astro-disaster “Plan 9 From Outer Space”
“I want to go to - what's that hot country with a lot of money? - Dubai.” Grandmaster Flash
January in the antipodes is tennis time. Tasty appetizers with the ASB Classic and Heineken Open in AKL before the main course at the Aussie open!!
In the Black Land of Mordor there is a mountain where rings are forged… Mount Ngaruhoe (it’s real name..) was the scene of our wonderful Tiki Tour over the Christmas holidays
The benefits of Trail running include beautiful skin thanks to the heling properties of the local mud…
As a coming together of imagination and pragmatism the images in this book by Jeremy Edwards are a paradigm of architecture in its simplest form.
Embrace creativity! Don’t follow President Business’ instructions. The worst part was when the lights came on after the movie and I realized I wasn’t eight years old…
Ta moko - traditional Māori tattooing, often on the face - is a taonga (treasure) to Māori for which the purpose and applications are sacred.
Gottfried Lindauer, (5 January 1839 – 13 June 1926) was a Czech and later a New Zealand artist famous for his portraits including that of the Māori
Charles Frederick Goldie OBE (1870–1947) was a New Zealand artist, best known for his portrayal of Māori dignitaries
On the 28th of November 1978, Carlo Scarpa died in Sendai in the north of Japan, following an accidental fall from a staircase.
Some really interesting movies coming up in the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival. Highlights include the recent film by Mathias Frick on Tadao Ando: From Emptiness to Infinity and the 1997 film by Ken Love on Frank Lloyd Wright and Japanese Art on 10th May.
Giuseppe Leone is a Sicilian photographer who has narrated, through his dramatic black and white photographs, the stillness of the Sicilian landscape and the vitality of daily life in the island. A museum dedicated to his life work opened last year in Ragusa bringing together the work of a lifetime.
Some of the oldest rock formations in the North Island can be found on The Arrows or Oruatemanu near Tauranga Bay, Northland. The deposits in this rocky outcrop span the Triassic and Permian periods and the site is one of only three places in the world where this is known to occur.
Easter has just been and even here in New Zealand the best traditions from Modica are upheld. If you want to try it yourselves, see below…