Intervention – Carlo Scarpa

Venice Departure. 8:15 AM on a ES-City Frecciabianca train to Verona.

My final destination was Milan, but I had to make a quick stop in Verona to take my personal pilgrimage to Castelvecchio. Meaning “Old Castle” in Italian, this structure was once a military complex that dates back to the Middle Ages. In the late 1950’s the architect Carlo Scarpa was commissioned to restore the structure. His modern intervention that converted this old structure into a museum is a brilliant study in the juxtaposition between the old and the new. His design seems to carefully fill the gap between the the original structure makes a clear distinction between where the old stops and the new begins. Scarpa is a master of joinery at multiple scales. In every direction and in every detail there is evidence that a great amount of thought and planning went into the consideration of how things touch, whether it be a small piece of hardware, or a bridge connecting two parts of the complex. This richness of detail and the consideration of every connection is pervasive throughout Castelvecchio. The mastery of detail, craft and materiality in this place is at the highest level of design. There are no other buildings in the world quite like this one and as a student of architecture I felt a profound inspiration from experiencing the designs of Carlo Scarpa.

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