Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa

Italian architect Carlo Scarpa was born on 2 June 1906 in Venice. Son of a school teacher, Scarpa initially went to Technical High School and later got enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1919. He got his diploma in 1926 and right after that started teaching architectural drawing at the same academy. Scarpa could never get a full-scale education of architecture and was thus criticized as an architect without license.

He had started working on his first project while studying at the Academy. Later in late 1920s and 1930s he got associated with a variety of intellectual individuals, painted heartily and created a lot of designs. Scarpa earned international reputation after the World War II. Right after the war he produced some eye catching work and showcased some outstanding influence of some top notch architects including Frank Lloyd Wright on his work. During this period he did not leave his teaching profession and kept contributing to the architectural world with his influential masterpieces.

Scarpa set a new trend of decorative art and discouraged the postmodern and neo rationalist approaches. He mixed the elements of modern architecture with craft tradition and set a new line for architecture of those times. During this period his drawings played a vital role and he kept on retouching them on daily basis to elaborate new construction techniques and replace the old methods with them.

Some of the major works of Carlo Scarpa are as follows:

  • Palazzo Chiaramonte, Palermo
  • Palazzo Ca’Foscari, Venice, 1935 – 1956
  • Restaurierung der Academia, Venice, 1945
  • Umgestaltung des Museo Correr, Venice, 1953, 1957-1960
  • Palazzo Abbatellis, Palermo, 1953 – 1954
  • Venezuela-Pavillion, Biennale, Venice, Italy, 1954 – 1956
  • Gipsoteca Canoviana, Possagno; 1955 – 1957
  • Veritti House, Udine, Italy, 1955 – 1961
  • Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, 1955
  • Museo Castelvecchio, Verona, Italy, 1956 – 1964
  • Fusina campground, Venice, 1957
  • Showroom of Olivetti, Venice, Italy, 1957 – 1958
  • Scatturin House, Venice, 1960
  • Querini Stampalia Library, Venice, Italy, 1961 – 1963
  • Balboni House, Venice, 1964
  • Brion-Vega Cemetery, at San Vito d’Altivole, Italy, 1970 – 1972
  • Banca Popolare di Verona, at Verona, Italy, 1973
  • Ottolenghi House, Bardolino, 1974 – 1979
  • Borgo House, Vicenza, 1975

Carlo Scarpa was at the peak of his career when death caught him in a rush. He fell down from a flight of concrete stairs on site of one of his projects. He fought for life for ten days, dodging the death amid severe injuries but ultimately embraced death in 1978 at the age of 72. This was the time when Scarpa was counted among most influential architects and a number of his buildings were being studied by architects of new generation all around the world. The young lot of architects and students seemed to be so impressed with his decorative techniques that they were striving to bring them back to fashion of modern times. Despite all this fame and exuberance, Scarpa remained a controversial architect even after his death. His works didn’t yield well for analysis and exposition nor critics found his work visually pleasing.

Carlo Scarpa Buildings


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