Archive for the ‘Carlo Scarpa’ Category

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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


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.


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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In 1955 the Monuments office commissioned Carlo Scarpa an extension of the old canova museum  and in 1992 the new wing was built.

For my own opinion, the addition part relate to the original museum perfectly, one of the reason is the consideration of light.

Light in the Canova Museum is the important aspect of the spatial composition that is designed to animate the collection of the plaster  figures that are displayed. Scarpa, with the introduction or the corner window, was able to create a well-modulated and varied light throughout the gallery spaces.

Corner windows, an invention of the modernist movement, produce a room in which the glazed apertures – the light sources – and the walls – the surfaces which diffuse this light-are at right angles to each other. This solution avoids the dazzle resulting from a window in the middle of the wall, where the only diffusers are well away from the light source. Once it is realized that light can be modulated by an opportune combination of sources and diffusers, a new level of architectural quality becomes possible.

In the same manner as described in Wright’s ‘Destruction of the Box’, the corner window in this case also becomes a device through which the collection can conceptually inhabit the surrounding environment and vice-versa. Scarpa goes one step further by making it an inverted corner window. The view of the hillside is thus pulled into the interior while the space of the gallery is projected outward on to the hillside.

The relationships between the figures of the collection are also of note. Because it is a permanent collection, it affords the possibility of creating juxtapositions that give life to the figures. A bust, cantilevered from the wall, can be said to be in conversation with the reclining figure below it. The tension that is created by such a placement is one that is suspended between presence and absence. Unlike the modern diorama which takes this tension and frames it, the visitor in this context can fully navigate through this viscous space.

The sketch showing the “re-entrant corner”

“For Scarpa, criticism was an experiment on the work of art, awakening the reflection by which the work becomes aware of itself. Scarpa’s architecture functions as a system of symbols, as an architectural language, which, being a language, becomes a ‘means’ for the recognition/production of reality rather than the ‘object’ of such a recognition/production” – Sergio Los, 1994.

We visited Negozio Olivetti building designed by architect Carlo Scarpa. I mainly focused on the details and materials in the building.

Quick overview of the space

Here are some detail that interests me as the way they put together

This is the detail study for this building.

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The headquarters of the Banca Popolare di Verona is a building designed by Carlo Scarpa in collaboration with Arrigo Rudi, who has completed the master’s work after his death. The collaboration between the Banca Popolare di Verona and Carlo Scarpa began in 1973 and ended in 1978 , the year of his death, while the building was completed in 1981 according to the original project by the Venetian. It is located in the historic center in Verona , and overlooks the Nogara Square and Convent Lane.

Detail of the facade

Carved-in detail on the exterior

The window extend out of the facade plane

The facade is divided, from bottom to top, in socket marble, the central part plastered and lodge in steel.

Carlo Scarpa faced two issues of importance and related to each other: first, the relationship that was to be born between old and new headquarters, and the second, having part of the facade on Piazza Nogara, so with a view front and side of Convent Lane, then with a foreshortened view of the building. The answer to the first issue was the attempt to understand the building of the old location without copying it, as the new headquarters would be an extension of the old and that was surrounding them. The second difficulty conceiving of the solution found on the square as a neutral, almost flat, with a bow window as the only element that emerges from the edge of the facade, bay windows, which still loses plasticity, since the square is the front view of the preferred and furthermore is at the top. Also note that the circular windows are the offices of the Director and Deputy Director, then there is a link between the organization and hierarchy of the interior and exterior. The part on the alley instead is provided with plastic elements and effects of light stronger, since in this case the view is foreshortened, and the oblique vision enhances the three-dimensional reading of this part of the prospectus . So this is where part of the four bay windows , the massive gateway, and the cut to the ground. Despite the high plasticity of this part there is no interference with the oldest site of the Bank, as the most neutral (next to the old site) acts as a filter. Compared to that of the seat pre-existing, the facade Scarpa is lower and slightly backward, and apparently is hooked to it only at the level of the base and the socket, while the intermediate part is almost autonomous.

A practical response to the problem of relations between old and new sedation is the reworking of some sophisticated elements, such as shelves of balconies , shaped triglyph, stretch and shrink, making the thin vertical strips that have the function of runoff , connecting the circular and rectangular windows, or the band molded to the seat of the oldest Banca Popolare di Verona separates the earth from the first floor, in the new building becomes becoming the frame on which you set the lodge.

Luckily we went inside the building and got some interior shots, which will shown below.

Interior shot showing the varies of volume and the fabulous play of light in this building

The corridor is wrapped with wooden finishes, I think the use of wood is to reflect light inside of the space to make it brighter.

It is amazing how the opening is create above the door to bring light in

Detail of the handrail

Another detail shows the handrail

Windows looking inside out, I can feel the different layers of facade, the views outside are framed and light are controlled through the two layers of apertures

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Castelvecchio Museum (Italian: Museo Civico di Castelvecchio) is a museum in Verona, northern Italy, located in the eponymous medieval castle. Restoration by the architect Carlo Scarpa, between 1959 and 1973, has enhanced the appearance of the building and exhibits. Scarpa’s unique architectural style is visible in the details for doorways, staircases, furnishings, and even fixtures designed to hold a specific piece of artwork.

Above are some photos of Carlo Scarpa’s garden:

Between 1958 and 1974, Castelvecchio, underwent an important and reinstallation of the museum spaces, designed and supercised for the city of Verona by the architect Carlo Scarpa during the directorship of the art historian Licisco Magagnato. The antique arms count, reduced at the beginning of the 20th century to an Italianate garden, was transformed by Scarpa into an extraordinary morden courtyard that complements the architecture with geometrical logic and the use of both traditional Veronese materials, such as Prun stone, and concrete.

This space is both the prologue to the museum visit and a resting slong the route. Several important works in stone are also sited within the garden: two 19th century fountains, an early 13th century sarcophagus, the central rose from the medieval floor of the church of Sant’Anastasia, installed here like an emblem next to the entrance. In addition, the site contains a medieval sundial and the celebrated equestrian statue of Cangrande I della Scala.

Castelvecchio was a castle in ruins before Scarpa was commissioned to restore it as a museum.

Scarpa then used modern materials to renovate Castelvecchio, the result is a surprisingly harmonical composition between old and new.

Scarpa’s attention to details is wonderful. Here’s how he designed his own railings.

He build the stairs accommodated to left and right steps that lead towards the old Castelvecchio.

Ornate metal lattice door designed by Carlo Scarpa.