Costruttori di Babele

© 2010 - 2015 Costruttori di Babele   Ideation and graphic: Gabriele Mina & Guido Lotti.   Please inform the author of use.

Visionary, outsider, side-street inspired architects, bricklayers of a dream… Costruttori di Babele is a new metaphor reserved to self-taught artists who devoted years of their life (at the boundaries or completely outside the official world or market rules) to the creation of their own universe: a sculptured garden, an ark, a castle… These spaces are well spread and object of attention in France and the U.S.A.

The authors are often bricklayers or workmen living in small villages; it isn’t uncommon their beginning after retirement or having discovered a material they are particularly attached to. They build around or on their own houses or properties, without a written project: they use recycling materials for structures, sculptures and mosaics; they gather shapes bringing to life colourful and creative sceneries. Their tales are concentrated on the way of realisation or the uniqueness of their work; they tend to be isolated from the community, being seen as bizarre people.Creations are restricted to a selected area, valued only as a local hard-to-discover curiosity. Many of these works risk disappearing after the death of their authors: heirs have conflicting relationship with such a particular handwork, hard to maintain.

The website

The aim of this website is to record the Italian constructions of Babel, for those who are interested in. A work in progress realised thanks to “Babelic correspondents”.

In the summary the artists are gathered in a region-based criterion and each one associated to a paper with: a) brief description of the environment; b) a photographic documentation; c) cross-references (with bibliographic author/date notes). Creations en plein air of “official” artists and architects are not taken into account, as for unusual houses, mazes and commissioned gardens (that’s why the Parco dei tarocchi made by Niki de Saint-Phalle or the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo are not listed).

Architectures, open spaces full of assemblage, graffiti, writing and murals (all particular appropriation of areas), collections and sceneries inside the house are recorded. Destroyed sites are recorded too.


The Association

The purpose of the association of cultural and social promotion Costruttori di Babele is to recognize, protect and value cultural, artistic and anthropological creations on the ground, especially the Italian irregular ones described in this website. The non-profit association develops research and dialogue activities with builders of Babel; collects and produces documentary materials; promotes cultural activities…

The association is open to whoever wants to share aims and ways of working; annual fee is 10 euro: please write to  gabrielemina [at]



Babel is also a multiple voices essay: Costruttori di Babele. Sulle tracce di architetture fantastiche e universi irregolari in Italia (elèuthera 2011). A network dealing with exchanges of information and materials, documentary papers, events of Babel was born around the book. The association promotes the series “Paesaggi babelici”, in partnership with Linaria, a non-profit organisation.


The archivist of Babel

Gabriele Mina, I was born in 1973, I live in Savona (Liguria, Italy). I am a teacher and an anthropologist. I devoted to tarantism rituals, body history and representation of diversity. Among others, I edited the essays Ossessioni. Un antropologo e un artista nel manicomio di Collegno (Besa 2009), Elephant Man. L’eroe della diversità: dal freak-show al cinema di Lynch (Le Mani 2010) et Pietro Moschini. Scultore contadino (Linaria 2013).   




























                                                               Avec Mario Andreoli, Fiorenzo Pilia, Luigi Lineri.

Costruttori di Babele