Domestic Imagination: The Foundational Workspace of Carlo Scarpa

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


The smell of coffee annunciates the beginning of another workday. Accompanied by homemade bread and aged cheese, Carlo Scarpa and his assistants enjoy the distinctive flavors of well made everyday life goods while chatting and cruising through some books from il Professore’s library. After finishing breakfast, at around 11.00 o’clock in the morning, the small working crew gathers at the studio located one level below the house, at street level on Rio Marin in Venice. Once at the drawing table and with an open window, Scarpa makes one line with his pencil to test the air humidity and judge whether it would be a good day to stay in the office, or to better go visit the construction site of one of his on-going projects. Often, Scarpa would rely on his own pencil to make such decision, expressing that ‘if this tool does not tell us where to go, we should abandon the field!’ Once they decide what the working routing will be, they all begin their tasks. However, the phone rings, more conversation occurs and the clock has now marked 2.00 o’clock in the afternoon. Delicious food smells from above, where ‘Nini’ has been cooking begin to awake Scarpa and his assistant’s appetites. It is now lunchtime. During days when Scarpa’s wife does not feel like cooking, they all cross to a nearby casual restaurant. After a long lunch, Scarpa usually decides to take a short nap. At around 5.00 o’clock in the afternoon, work continues until 9.00 in the night, when smells of a yet another delicious meal awaits the diners upstairs. According to Guido Pietropoli, the time after dinner was the most productive time because the phone had ceased ringing, there were no more meals in the way, and perhaps because the day had been filled with conversations, flavors, images and anecdotes. Until 1:00 o’clock in the morning, they all devote themselves to the construction of multiple architectural drawings. One of Scarpa’s assistants, Luciano Gemin, states that for the architect: ‘working was a mode of living.’ If as Gaston Bachelard claims, the house is one’s ‘corner of the world,’ the place where all memories and material reveries are hosted and from which they all emerge, the deliberate close communication between Scarpa’s house and workspace situate the domestic as constitutive in the production of architecture. From the design of furniture, water closets and door handles, to the design of houses, this paper unfolds details of the architect’s workspace collected through oral history, and explores theoretically the role of homely everyday life events as foundational for the architect’s imagination through particular design demonstrations.
Publikationsdatojun. 2019
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2019
BegivenhedFrascari Symposium IV: The Secret Lives of Architectural Drawings and Models, Kingston Architecture and Landscape - Kingston School of Art, Department of Architecture and Landscape, London, Storbritannien
Varighed: 27 jun. 201929 jun. 2019


KonferenceFrascari Symposium IV
LokationKingston School of Art, Department of Architecture and Landscape


  • Scarpa
  • tegning

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

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