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Nick Mauss

Carlo Scarpa, preliminary drawing, ca. 1970, for the Brion Tomb and Sanctuary, 1969–78, San Vito d’Altivole, Italy.

CARLO SCARPA’S WORKS are permeated by a certain attentive empathy toward objects, materials, and artworks. This feeling materializes in real but irrational apertures, thought vectors, and processional spaces gauzily layered in the mind—so that architecture becomes a garland unraveling, rather than a discipline governed by exigencies of production or consumption. With its Venn-diagram display windows, the pressed-concrete facade of the former Gavina furniture showroom in Bologna, Italy, for example, breaks radically with the centuries-old house it invades, while paying homage through difference. Ground down to softness by four hundred years of friction, the original stairs of the Querini Stampalia in Venice are sectionally clad in new marble slabs that appear to have been simply laid over and against the worn-out treads and rises. Strangely delicate, even halting, this alteration

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