Saturday, August 14, 2010

Significant Architect - Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa was a virtuoso of light, a master of detail, and a connoisseur of materias. Today he is known as a master of twentieth century architecture.

Carlo Scarpa was born in Venice on June 2, 1906. He was an Italian architect, influenced by the materials, landscape, and the history of Venetian culture, and Japan. Scarpa was also a glass and furniture designer of note. Carlo attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After receiving his diploma in 1926, Carlo Scarpa began teaching architectural drawing at the Academy. Carlo Scarpa never completed a full-scale architectural education and was never recognized as an architect. After receiving his diploma he then began his career at the Royal Superior Institute of Architecture of Venice (successively Architectural Institute of Venice University) as assistant to Prof. G. Cirilli. He possessed an exceptional understanding of raw materials, and from 1933 to 1947, was artistic director of Venini - one of the most renowned producers of Venetian glass before he began the quest of his career as an architect. During the years 1954-64 he gave annual lessons to Fulbright scholarship holders in Rome. In 1956 he won the National Olivetti Award for Architecture and in 1962 the IN-ARCH National Award for Architecture for the Castelvecchio Museum of Verona. In 1972 he became the Director of the Architectural Institute of Venice University.

At the time of his death in 1978 at the age of 72, Carlo Scarpa was at the height of his fame and influence. His work possessed mystery and ambiguity in the history of modern architecture and design. It cannot easily be analysed, despite attempts by numerous architects and historians.

Carlo Scarpa’s buildings and projects continue to influence and inspire architects and students around the world. Known as the “Frank Lloyd Wright of Italy”, Scarpa’s decorative style has become a model for architects seeking to revive craftsmanship and the use of luscious materials in a contemporary manner.

Brion Monumental complex consists of a series of elements in reinforced concrete, each one geometrically and thoughtfully positioned to the other: the shrine at the entrance of the cemetry. The composition of the Brion monuental complex calls to mind the atmosphere of an simulated Japanese landscape, a series of pavilions inserted into a topography without perceptible structure.

Carlo Scarpa was commissioned to work on the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice. These area of interest to me is the staircase to the water. The floor of the structure was periodically flooded by high tides and made intirely inaccessible. Carlo Scarpa's design incorporated the original structure with massive stone treads, leading to two water entrances secured by large metal gates. It creates a unity between the structure and the cause of its possible demise - the Venetian canal.

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