Vicenza Apartment House
On the way to the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale I travelled through Vicenza and had the opportunity to visit one of Carlo Scarpa’s lesser known built projects – the only apartment building design of his to be built.
It was a joy to walk around the corner and see this project for the first time. An elegant four storey L-shaped block with some typical Scarpa touches.
Full-height windows create an asymmetrical rhythm across the façade, most with concrete sills, and some with precast concrete balconies with ziggurat patterning and drainage holes.
The entire building is set back from the street frontage with an off-form concrete structure in front creating a privacy screen and sunshade device.
A section of the T-shaped concrete screen floats above, and frames, a small garden area.
Red steel screens fill the gaps to the garden and match the colour of the intricately detailed steel structural columns and beams inserted around the base of the building.
The building is capped with a pattern of alternating cylindrical and semi-spherical indentations.
Beyond the entry gates is the entry to the apartments,
along with a lush, Japanese inspired garden along with concrete, stone and brick paving set flat with concrete filled holes.
Scarpa designed the project in 1974 after previous attempts had failed to gain approval, however it proved to be a difficult project and was completed in 1979 by Francesco Guitto, a year after Scarpa’s death.
Place: Vicenza Apartment House
Architect: Carlo Scarpa
Photographer: Stephen Varady
More information: The Apartment House is mentioned in all 3 of these publications:
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