Archive for July 19, 2012

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Today we visited Carlo Scarpa’s well known renovation of the Querini Stampalis Foundation in Venice Italy, in general, it is a particularly impressive example of a renovation project which layers the past and present constructions into a powerful assemblage.

Front bridge entrance, it is closed as we visited.

Interior Hall

Plan Diagram

The Fondazione Querini Stampalia was founded in Venice 1869 by the last descendant of the Venetian Querini Stampalia. The site is composed of the living quarters, an archive, a library, and a museum of paintings and furnishings. In 1949, the Presidential Council of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia decided to begin the restoration of some parts of the Palazzo Querini. Malino Dazzi, director of the foundation, tasked Carlo Scarpa to restore the ground floor, which was in a state of neglect and decay. The project was completed just over ten years later.The restoration project included careful cleaning of four existing architectural elements: the bridge, the entrance, the portico and the garden.

Scarpa’s museum renovations exhibit his minimalist style within historic buildings, a style that allows the existing context to pass beneath and behind the new work without being disturbed. However, it was not the invention of spatial themes with which Carlo Scarpa was involved, but rather the manipulation of materials in relation to the human body.

For this visit, I focused on two aspects of the building: detail and water

Detail:

Scarpa’s expression of detail in this building varies at different scale, with different combination of materials, such as steel, concrete, glass and brick. Here are some examples I found intriguing about this building.

This is a staircase at the side entrance, it is an innovative stair to me due to the way that each step continuous and warp around the step above.

This detail shows how concrete hangs out of the brick wall, thus to give a feeling of depth.

This detail is a celebration of the intersection of steel and concrete

A fascinating column detail showing the compositional relationship of glass and concrete

An innovative door, it is a an interesting way to bring light in as well.

Water:

Scarpa is a master of using the water as a critical element in his building, what I found interesting is he introduced the experience of water in two different ways: the flowing water and the static water. For the flowing water, it creates dynamic feeling for the space, on the one hand, we can see something flowing compared to the other static objects surrounding it, on the other hand, we can hear the water as well, it is a special feeling as we could “listen” to architecture.

For the static water pool, the transparent nature of water gives us a feeling of brightness. Also, it reflects the scenario surrounding it thus giving an illusionary sense for people. Last but not least, Scarpa loves the zen idea taken from Japanese culture, the static water makes us feel peaceful. Here are some photos I took thus to support my point.

These details show how well done of the usage of water in this building.

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San Giorgio Maggiore is a 16th century Benedictine church on the island of the same name in Venice, northern Italy, designed by Andrea Palladio and built between 1566 and 1610. The church is a basilica in the classical renaissance style and its brilliant white marble gleams above the blue water of the lagoon opposite the Piazzetta and forms the focal point of the view from every part of the Riva degli Schiavoni.

Plan and section diagram of the church

Exterior:

The façade is brilliantly white and represents Palladio’s solution to the difficulty of adapting a classical temple facade to the form of the Christian church, with its high nave and low side aisles, which had always been a problem. Palladio’s solution superimposed two facades, one with a wide pediment and architrave, extending over the nave and both the aisles, apparently supported by a single order of pilasters, and the other with a narrower pediment (the width of the nave) superimposed on top of it with a giant order of engaged columns on high pedestals. This solution is similar to Palladio’s slightly earlier facade for San Francesco della Vigna, where the other parts of the church had been designed by Sansovino. On either side of the central portal are statues of Saint George and of Saint Stephen, to whom the church is also dedicated.

Interior:

What I am interested in this church is how Palladio playing with light,based on the geometry of the church, which is symmetrical along the elongated  longitudinal axis, I assume Palladio use this brilliant idea of carving in the roof to ring light in, and at the same time, the light got reflected and pointed to the longitudinal axis, thus to strengthen the feeling of the space.

Zoomed in shot of the roof, showing the reflection of the light

The bright and spacious interior is marked by symmetry, by the clam, uniform distribution of light that arrives from and so called thermal windows in the form of lunettes, divided into three parts, that reflect the religious sensitivity of monastic times.

Individual Assignment 1:

Choose a condition in Querini Stampalis Foundation in Venice, document it in one drawing in a coherent manner

The condition I choose is a fountain, it shows the brilliant design of Scarpa that the shifted layer of wall connected by water feature. The board contains plan, section and perspective diagram.

Today we visited the boat building workshop at San Trovaso, which is next to the Church of San Trovaso along the narrow Rio San Trovaso, just north of the Zattere. it was first opened in the 17th century.Back in the 16th-century heyday of the gondola, there were upwards of 10,000 of these elegant boats plying the waters of Venice’s canals. Today there are but 350, and the job of gondoliere is still a coveted profession, passed down from father to son over the centuries.

The boatyard is surrounded by Tyrolian-looking wooden structures . I find it is a true rarity in this stone city built on water, and an oddity shared by most boatyard.The wooden structures are home to the multiple-generational owners and original workshops for the traditional boats.

Interior photo of the workshop

A quick sketch of the workshop