CARLO SCARPA (Venice 1906 – 1978 Japan)

08/03/2010 § 2 Comments

Designer Feature vol. 3

Olivetti Showroom, Carlo Scarpa

In the summer of 2004 I took a one month course at the University of Miami on Architecture for High School Students (I was entering my senior year). The project was to design a gallery to house a collection of student work. In typical UM fashion, I was to first study a couple precedents (good examples of similar typology, history, environment, whatever). My professor suggested a few different names for me to browse in the Architecture library and off I went. The others I can’t even remember but I’ll never forget my first encounter with the work of Carlo Scarpa. It was he who inspired me to apply to the School of Architecture later that year and become an architect.

This Italian architect based out of Venice, Italy drew me in with his use of materials and his meticulate attention to detail. In his work every corner, every connection is resolved with the utmost sensibility. This of course means Scarpa did not leave behind an encyclopedia of works. However, the ones he did complete were true jewels.

the architect

In his works he would blend brass with limestone and stucco and brick. He would play with precedents of geometry such as circular Chinese openings in garden walls and corbeled pyramids in a sanctuary’s ceiling. He was doing innovative conservation of historical buildings way before Herzog and de Meuron’s Caixa Forum in Madrid.

He would play with the historical through a sophisticated and poetic understanding of materials.

It was love at first sight.













Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa



Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa

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§ 2 Responses to CARLO SCARPA (Venice 1906 – 1978 Japan)

  • Jan says:

    Well, I first saw the brilliant mind of Carlo Scarpa in some tessuto vases, had no idea who this man was until I understood that he was actually an architect, the rest came more like a shock. I have two trips in the future that I must do, first to California and watch buildings by John Lautner and then Italy to see Carlo Scarpa.

    • rlbastos says:

      Hi Jan,

      I had a very similar experience with Scarpa. He just takes you by surprise because he does everything. And then the more you see the more you want to see of his work.

      Thank you for checking out trace!

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