If Jean Lus Godard in his film “Notre Music” was right assessing that the imaginary could be more real than the “real,” why shouldn’t Mona Lisa be more real than any “client?”

Yes, what is Mona Lisa was the one who commissioned us a house?

How would we design it?

Would it be just another house expressing nothing about the “client,” except that she chose us as its designer and most probably about ourselves?

But how would a house for Mona Lisa be that would be the architectonic equivalent of the painting?

What if our house would “smile” as mysteriously as Mona Lisa does?

What if its complexity would invite as many interpretations as the painting did? Wouldn’t it be a great building by necessity?

There were in the history of architecture buildings with the power of being emblems… Villa Rotonda, Villa Savoye, Fallingwater, etc…

But what about A HOUSE FOR MONA LISA?

We feel there is great potential in architecture to become, again, narrative… to tell a story, subtly, or not so subtly.

What would the story of Mona Lisa be?

There are countless stories about Mona Lisa. We invite you to read them. But most importantly we invite you to contemplate the painting, and to think about it. It would be hard to find a more complex, and more appealing and provoking “client.”


For the one who is, it seems, any of us, and none of us.

For the beautiful woman who seems to be, indeed, an immigrant not just in space, but also in time.

A woman untouchable, yet close.

A woman who seems to say: life is a mystery and I epitomize this mystery.

Of course you can be playful too… after all, myriad of artists, more of less serious, played with this famous painting and figure. All the more a proof that this painting is universal and that the figure depicted is almost an emblem of all of us.

You can see yourself in Mona Lisa, dear architect. Maybe yourself at your best.


Design the architectonic equivalent of the painting.

Aren’t we asking you a lot?

Yes, we are.

Please send us your work by May 2nd, when there will be 500 years since Leonardo died. Please register before this time in order to receive a registration number with which to anonymously identify your work. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Thank you,
ICARCH Gallery