At first glance the buildings of Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa appear severe and nearly monolithic, a kind of Brutalism meets Deco by way of Japan with a few splices of Russian Constructivism and Italian sensuousness.
Only upon closer study are the delicacy and detail of his buildings revealed. It's those meticulous watchmaker-like details that draw us in.
For his Brion Tomb the Japanese Ensō intersects the long plane of a poured stone wall: Under Scarpa's delicate hand they are like two bullet holes of zen enlightenment artfully blasted into a military bunker.
The stroke of the chisel above and the caress of the sandpaper below.
Below, a riff on the Fibonacci sequence: Curves, spirals, and triangles mingle with the quadrilinear while neutrals and colors converge with wood and stone.
What is now a dying art was once the artist's telescoped message to the observer of the designer's mysterious process: Another unfortunate artifact in the age of computers, Scarpa's drawings are as distinguishable to the master's work as were Frank Lloyd Wright's to his own.
Below, Scarpa's drawings for Olivetti Design Camp competition, 1956.
Below, studies for the Gavina store mosaic, 1961-63:
Below, drawings for a holy-water stoup (left) and constructional details for a candelabrum:
Images and quotes below taken from the book Carlo Scarpa: The Complete Works by Francesco Dal Co & Guisseppe Mazzariol.
Scarpa's work is made up of fragments without being fragmentary. Vittorio Gregotti
... these fragments are both the remains of a completed construction and the uncompleted and unplaced elements of a construction yet to be built. But they are not fragments of history, nor are they splinters of the future. These fragnemts are the remains of a solitude, that of a master who had the courage not to desire pupils. Franco Purini