MODERNIST MONDAYS: Carlo Scarpa

At TTC, we are constantly inspired by modernist architects and artists from past and present. To showcase some of our favorites, we are launching #ModernistMondays, where we will highlight one modernist a month to explore. You can keep up with #ModernistMondays on the TTC Blog, or our Instagram page! For our first installment, we are introducing the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa with ten quick facts!

Carlo Scarpa 1906-1978

Scarpa attended The Academy of Fine Arts and studied under fellow architect Francesco Rinaldo.

  1. He refused to sit the Italian pro forma professional exam, which barred him from building without another formally-certified architect.
  2. Scarpa was a skilled glassblower, and served as director of Venini Glassworks for over a decade. 
  3. Attention to detail was extremely important to Scarpa; his “viewing device” in the Brion-Vega Cemetery in Italy became his international motif. Of the project, he said that “the place for the dead is a garden. I wanted to show some ways in which you could approach death in a social and civic way.”
  4. After WWII, Scarpa became an internationally recognized figure as he renovated buildings across Italy, specifically his careful 1964 renovation of the Museo Castelvecchio. The revamp included placing remnants of the original structure within the new one, to display the historic architecture.
  5. Italian typewriter manufacturer, Olivetti, tapped Scarpa to design their showroom in  1958. Scarpa’s striking stone structure is now a museum open to visitors in Venice. 
  6. Abstract Latvian painter Mark Rothko was a major inspiration to Scarpa, and he used the paintings to influence his own work.
  7. A lifelong lover of Japanese design and detail, Scarpa traveled to Asia often and brought back appreciation for Japanese architects’ use of modest materials.
  8. Scarpa found that residential projects allowed him more creative freedom. Over his career, he designed around thirty, which for the most part, remain intact down to the furniture he chose.
  9. Scarpa tended to work on residential projects whose commissioners resonated with him. Zetner House is a rare venture outside of Italy; the concrete-walled home in Switzerland was for a young widow whose husband had been one of Scarpa’s mentor’s prodigies.

 

SOURCES: Wikipedia, “Carlo Scarpa”; Archdaily, “Carlo Scarpa”; New York Times, “Who Was Carlos Scarpa?”; Divisare, “Carlo Scarpa Built Projects”