Carlo Scarpa (1906 — 1978)
Carlo Scarpa (June 2, 1906 – November 28, 1978) was an influential Italian architect and designer deeply rooted in the rich cultural history of Venice. He began his career as an assistant at the Royal Superior Institute of Architecture of Venice and later served as the Director of the Architectural Institute of Venice University in 1972. Scarpa’s architectural style beautifully balanced tradition and modernity, skillfully integrating new design elements while respecting the historical context. His profound understanding of raw materials and a meticulous selection and combination of materials set him apart. Scarpa’s work, which can be seen as a series of experiments, is a testament to his rejection of architectural habits, with the fragment as the favored embodiment of his design philosophy.
Scarpa’s designs were marked by an extraordinary attention to detail and an emphasis on visual commentary through materials, light, spatial arrangements, and colors. He used elements from nature, such as water and stone, to enhance his designs, creating labyrinthine forms and unique compositions. Scarpa’s approach to “decoration” challenged the prevailing modernist views, emphasizing the value of ornament as an integral part of design. His iconic project, the Brion-Vega Cemetery, is a testament to his commitment to creating enduring works that transcend time and capture the essence of his architectural language. His influence extended to other Italian interior designers and architects, leaving a lasting impact on the field of design. Scarpa’s appreciation for Japanese art and culture, which he developed throughout his life, further enriched his artistic sensibilities. He passed away during a journey to Japan in 1978, leaving behind a legacy of innovative and harmonious architectural and design achievements.