Carlo Scarpa must have loved his hometown dearly. Born in Venice in 1906, an old-school architect following the tradition of the great masters of the likes of Bramante, Palladio and Borromini - but also a great admirer of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright - Scarpa he has left the mark of his exceptional talent on many places across the city.
These include not only new and imaginative spaces, but also major restoration works in which he managed to intervene with subtlety and respect for the past.
One of the most significant examples of intervention on an existing building is the Querini Stampalia Foundation in Campo Santa Maria Formosa. The restoration of the sixteenth-century palace by Scarpa, developed in 1949 and carried out between 1959 and 1963, includes, in addition to the access bridge and the entrance, even the ground floor, which was constantly threatened by high water, and the garden, then completely abandoned. Scarpa was able to juxtapose new and old features with great skill, integrating the water into his project and indeed focusing on this element through the bulkheads, the large garden tub and a small canal at whose ends there are two labyrinths carved in alabaster and Istrian stone.
"If you want to be happy for life, build a garden", once said the great architect. And the garden was in fact one his favorite themes. His famous Garden of Sculptures at the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennial, built in 1952 and recently renovated, plays with light, shadow and water. Three heavy elliptical columns support a canopy roof which is shaped as if three circles would have been subtracted from a rectangle.