For the past few days I was in Venice, Italy where I got to visit some modern architectural sites including 3 by architect Carlo Scarpa. We were only visiting for three short days (Venice is only 2.5hrs from Ireland) but hit the ground running with an arrival in to Venice at 1.30pm and then a booked architectural tour starting at 2.30pm.
The three Scarpa sites we visited were the Olivetti Showroom, the Fondazione Querini Stampalia and Tolentini Entrance at the Venice University.
First was the Olivetti showroom which is in San Marco square. It's a small shop that was designed in 1958 to showcase Olivetti products (typewriters). It's a stunning interior with so many worked out details that it was hard to take it all in on our short visit. For me however, it was the feeling or experience of being in the store that was quite amazing. The sense of space is a remarkable achievement.
Scarpa was inspired by both Japanese architecture and also Frank Lloyd Wright and this can certainly be seen in this window and screen.
The Fondazione Querini Stampalia is a cultural institution that was founded in the 1860's with the ground floor and garden being redesigned by Carlo Scarpa in the 1960's. It's a really sympathetic redesign and once again there is a particularly serene feeling in the building - particularly with the open water gate that allows water right in to the building.
The final Carlo Scarpa site we visited was the Tolentini Entrance which was completed after Scarpa's death. It has a specific Scarpa look and is a fine piece of design. See below for two pics of the entranceway. The top pic is the right side and the bottom pic is the whole front.
While not a Scarpa building, we also visited the Casa di Risparmio which is now a bank. It was a highly controversial design as the outside is in complete modern contrast to all of the buildings in the surroundings. Here's a photo of the inside.
After our 4 hour architectural walking tour we got back to our hotel changed for dinner and then went out and ate in literally the first restaurant we came upon!
We were guided in Venice by Francesca from http://www.movenice.com/en/ and would thoroughly recommend the tour.