by Carlo Scarpa
From architecture to works in glass, from design projects to preparing museum exhibitions, the work of Carlo Scarpa has always stood out in the unmistakable way in which it manages to bring together his love for materials, his attention to detail and his masterly elaboration of organic and Wrightian poetics. Architect, designer and artist, Scarpa left the Venice Academy of Art in 1926 and began professional work. For twenty years, right up until the second half of the Forties, he received numerous commissions to design, convert prepare buildings. As one of the most enigmatic and underappreciated architects of the 20th century, Carlo Scarpa is best known for his instinctive approach to materials, combining time-honored crafts with modern manufacturing processes.
The definitive monograph on a celebrated Italian architect, Carlo Scarpa includes more than 350 photographs, sketches, and architectural plans, along with in‐depth ‘walk throughs’ of over 15 key projects such as the Central Pavilion in the Giardini of the Venice Bienniale, the Olivetti Showroom in St. Mark’s Square, the Canova Museum, and the Brion Cemetery. A cult figure with mass appeal, Scarpa was heralded by architectural luminaries such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn. Today, Scarpa’s work is more relevant than ever
With an illuminating text by Robert McCarter, who has developed a reputation and following for his meticulously researched, experentially-based, and jargon-free accounts of key figures in Modern architecture, this book provides the definitive study of Scarpa’s many accomplishments, including such works at the Canova Museum, the Castelvechhio Museum and the Brion Cemetery, among others.
An architect who renovated existing buildings, Carlo Scarpa is often called one of the most underappreciated modern masters. His aesthetic was defined by an obsession with detail, numerology, and history. Scarpa is best known for his architectural works, including the elegant renovation of the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona, but he also designed furniture, such as the award-winning Doge table for Simon/Gavina.
Born in Venice in 1906, he graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and went on to be the director of Venini Glassworks from 1932 to 1947. It is there that Scarpa’s distinct approach to materials and craftsmanship began to emerge. His travels to Japan and the influence of other architects he admired—he idolized Frank Lloyd Wright—began to inform his work. The strict angular composition of his structures was always complemented by a spiritual element. No project was alike, and each had a unique history and strong connection to its surroundings. In 1968, Scarpa took on his final project, a private burial in the Brion Cemetery near the Dolomite Mountains. The tomb would end up being the architect’s final resting place.
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by John Pawson