Architecture has long been an essential component of the arts, performing as both an artwork and an opportunity for artistic representation. Throughout history, architectural structures have served not just as accommodation but also as symbols of cultural, artistic, and historical events. The majesty of Gothic cathedrals, the symmetry of Renaissance palaces, and the creativity of modernist structures all show how architecture may surpass ordinary usefulness and become a form of art. These constructions are admired for their aesthetic appeal, exquisite features, and capacity to express tales and emotions while representing the beliefs and goals of the era.

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St Pancras Statue_©chapmantaylor

For many years, there has been discussion about whether architecture is art, with some passionately arguing that architecture is a form of self-expression and thus an art form, while others criticise the concept, viewing it as a shape of egotism that results in starchitect designs being plummeted into place without regard for social and geographical circumstances or suitableness.

Today, architects are progressively incorporating artistic aspects into their projects, expanding architecture’s position in the arts.

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Architecture is art_©chapmantaylor

Raffaele Salvoldi: Bridging Art and Architecture

Raffaele Salvoldi is notable in the field of modern design for his outstanding talent for combining the disciplines of art and architecture. Salvoldi is known for his distinctive style and genuine regard for traditional practices. He builds environments that are not only useful but also intensely artistic and intriguing. His work embodies an effortless integration of the past and present, combining the majesty of classical art with the sleek, clear lines of modern architecture.

Raffaele Salvoldi is well known for his wood sculptures. His ornate sculptures are tower-like architectural monuments, made of hundreds of wooden boards from the building game Kapla that have been built to imitate complicated, gravity-defying structures. 

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KAPLA planks_© Raffaele Salvoldi

The Fusion of Art and Architecture

Raffaele Salvoldi’s profession emphasises the strong relationship between art and architecture. Salvoldi sees these disciplines as complimentary energies that, when integrated, may improve the way people experience. His architectural designs frequently combine creative elements like sculptures, paintings, and installations, transforming buildings into living works of art. This combination guarantees that the spaces he designs are both visually appealing and deeply resonant.

Salvoldi’s design approach is founded on the concept that art may improve the utility of a space. By blending artistic elements into structural design, he creates places that foster creativity and well-being. This technique not only beautifies the physical environment but also improves the lives of individuals who engage with it.

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Raffaele Salvoldi shapes towering installations using ‘thousands of planks’_© Raffaele Salvoldi

Professional Debut and Growth

Salvoldi began his professional career in the early 2000s, swiftly earning a reputation for himself with his unique design style. His early designs were on small-scale residential and commercial spaces, giving him the ability to experiment with incorporating artistic aspects into architectural buildings. These early triumphs opened the door for bigger, more ambitious projects, cementing his reputation as a flexible and imaginative designer.

Raffaele Salvoldi, who was already a director of photography, went on a voyage of creative exploration in 2021 when he began to make modest but sophisticated architectural works utilising wooden batons and live theatrical performances in residential settings.

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Raffaele Salvoldi _© Raffaele Salvoldi

This artistic journey began during lockdown, with an examination of how he could merge his two lifelong hobbies, woodworking and architecture. He subsequently began working with a firm that made wooden blocks, and his creations expanded in size and effect, but the true turning point occurred when he constructed a piece within a neoclassical palace in Novara. It was at this moment that he realised the enormous potential of his art form and how he could include people in it by establishing a synergy between all of the elements, namely the space, himself, his works, and onlookers.

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Eco-friendly products and processes _© Raffaele Salvoldi

Influences and Style

Salvoldi’s artwork is highly inspired by Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. These influences are shown in his concern for proportion, balance, and anatomical accuracy. However, Salvoldi is not bound by precedent. His creations smoothly blend characteristics of current art, such as abstraction and minimalism. This combination of classical and modern components creates a distinct design that is both timeless and cutting-edge. Raffaele Salvoldi considers his expressive art to be an open window on a live creative process, as well as a one-of-a-kind experience for those who see it. 

There is no preset design; rather, his constructions emerge from a dynamic flow and an interaction between the artist and the environment. It becomes a discourse in which the work is incorporated into the surroundings, resulting in a sense of harmony. The second distinguishing feature of his work is that each product is made and then disassembled under a sustainable and participatory ethos. This cycle of creation and deconstruction allows him to simply reuse his building components while also engaging viewers in a dynamic, interactive experience.

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Cycle of construction and demolition_© Raffaele Salvoldi

Conceptual Integration: Artistic Vision in Architecture

While Raffaele Salvoldi’s installations are visually appealing, his work is equally renowned for its theatrical nature. Visitors are welcome to see Wood Arc stack the KAPLA planks at the start of each new production. When the construction is ready to be torn down, participants can help the artist tear down the foundation with a domino-like hit or by hurling blocks at the exhibit. It might take anything from three weeks to four months to create one structure.

The ephemerality of these works is underscored at the show’s conclusion. Rather than saving the parts, guests are urged to help disassemble them. They can toss more KAPLA boards, causing a cascading fall, or watch Salvoldi methodically choreograph a domino-like sequence that topples the edifice from its foundation.

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KAPLA planks _© Raffaele Salvoldi

Influence on Contemporary Design

Each of the sculptures, labelled Bianco Carrara, Grigio Versilia, and Pietra d’Avola, is over three metres tall and is made up of rhythmic, swirling chunks of stone. They are on display at both the brand’s showroom and boutique in Milan. In keeping with the brand’s sustainability aim, Salvoldi’s material is derived from marble production waste. 

Two of Raffaele’s paintings will be on exhibit on the ground floor of Salvatori’s showroom, via Solferino 11. The first welcomes guests at the entryway, while the second will be found in the Room of Mirrors, where its many reflections will create a stunning kaleidoscope effect.

The third piece will be built during Design Week inside the Salvatori store on the corner of Palermo and Largo.

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Wood Arc _© Raffaele Salvoldi

The combination of art and architecture has the potential to be greater than the sum of its parts, yet it may also go disastrously wrong. Getting the balance perfect may be considered an art form in and of itself. The building designer must have the competence and creative talent to envision the outcome and how it will be perceived by those who view it.


Artleove and Artleove (2024) Raffaele Salvoldi Creates Elegant and Unique Towers [online] available from <>

Lloyd-Smith, H. (2023) “Raffaele Salvoldi Stacks Hundreds of Marble Blocks for Dazzling Milan Installation”. Wallpaper.Com [online] 18 April. available from <>

“Salvatori” (2023) Salvatori Official [online] 11 April. available from <>

Taylor, C. (2020) How Art Enhances Architecture [online] available from <>


Isha Chaudhary is an architect who combines her technical expertise with a deep understanding of human behavior and emotions to create spaces that resonate with users. Beyond her design work, she is an avid architecture writer who uses her words to convey the thoughts and intentions behind her designs. Through her writings, she shares insights into her creative process, inviting readers into the world of architecture and design. She believes that architecture is not just about buildings; it's about the stories they tell and the emotions they evoke.