Pumpkin and Mushroom homes in Via Lepanto

May, 8 2013 10:00

Posted inArchitecture

How do gnomes decorate their house? You should ask the residents of Via Lepanto in Milan, also called “the path of the gnomes”, characterised by the unique shape of the houses. Who knows what type of furniture they found inside when they came across these curious houses built by the elves. Some people do not believe in fairy tales, but apparently some people in Milan do; a small street in the Maggiolina neighbourhood, near the Villaggio dei Giornalisti, is characterised precisely by these unique “Pumpkin” houses.  These igloo-shaped homes were once in the company of other bizarre houses, for example, mushroom-shaped.


From SkyScraperCity - Milano Quartiere Maggiolina. (author - anonimous)




The story starts with a friendly Italian gnome-architect called Mario Cavallé, returning from the United States, who decides to establish a small village near Milan. In 1946 he collected 12 big pumpkins and a few big mushrooms and started to design their interiors in order to develop a comfortable space to live in.  The village was small, the inhabitants lived peacefully and they enjoyed the abundance of nature while being close to the city. After twenty years of quiet life, though, the land that surrounded the houses was invaded by large buildings and city life, threatening the small enchanting village. From bad to worse, Cavallé’s grandson did not care about these unique-shaped homes and decided to destroy them. In 1965 all mushroom-shaped homes were destroyed, as well as 4 of the 12 pumpkin homes. It is said that some mushrooms came alive during the destructive act and managed to escape to Novate Milanese. Some claim to have seen them in Via Puccini, in Novate.




From SkyScraperCity - Milano Quartiere Maggiolina (author - anonimous)



Today, however, there are still those who seek refuge in the small pumpkin houses transforming the original layout and furnishings into unique homes, carrying on the fantasy and imagination of the man who conceived them. 



Kartell Gnomes 2000 (source - atcasa.corriere.it)




I wonder if one of the houses has a gnome in their back garden, designed by Philippe Starck in 2000 for Kartell, so that no one forgets the origins of the small residential village and reminding everyone that fairy tales really do exist.