Entry to the chapel of Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Cemetery, San Vito d'Altivole. Photo by Robert McCarter.

Architecture Faculty Lecture: Robert McCarter

October 15, 2020
6p CDT

Robert McCarter, the Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture, will deliver a lecture titled The Architecture of Carlo Scarpa: Recomposing Place, Intertwining Time, Transforming Reality.

The lecture is free and will be delivered online via Zoom, but registration is required. Register here>>

In his lecture, McCarter will provide an overview of the career and works of the architect Carlo Scarpa (1906-78), a unique figure among second-generation Modern architects, at once deeply imbedded in the archaic and anachronistic culture of Venice, yet simultaneously transforming that ancient city by weaving the most modern spatial conceptions into its material fabric. At once ancient and modern, Scarpa joined these two worlds by constructing an interpretation of architectural preservation, renovation, and intervention that integrates, engages, and transforms its historical place. Scarpa's architecture is fundamentally based in the light, space, and material sensibility of his place, and his earliest designs were for the Murano glass fabricators Cappellin and Venini, an engagement of the traditional culture of Venice.

As a way of exploring the manner in which Scarpa embedded his new works within existing structures in the Veneto region, seven major works will be briefly examined: the Accademia Museum in Venice, the Canova Gipsoteca in Possagno, the Olivetti Showroom in Venice, the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona, the Querini Stampalia in Venice, the Banca Popolare di Verona, and the Brion Cemetery in San Vito d'Altivole. The lecture centers on Scarpa's redefinition of architectural interventions in historical places through the engagement of Vico's aphorism, Verum Ipsum Factum, "we only know what we make," as this is exemplified in Scarpa's works through his actions of recomposing place, intertwining time, and transforming reality.

About Robert McCarter

Robert McCarter is a practicing architect, author, and Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis since 2007. He has also taught at the University of Florida, Columbia University, and four other institutions. During his 35 years in academia, McCarter has taught at least one design studio every semester, and he has taught more than 1,800 students. He has had his own architectural practice since 1982, in New York, Florida, and St. Louis, with 25 realized buildings. He is the author of twenty-three published books to date, including Place Matters: The Architecture of WG Clark (2019); Grafton Architects (2018); Marcel Breuer (2016); The Space Within: Interior Experience as the Origin of Architecture (2016); Steven Holl (2015); Aldo van Eyck (2015); Alvar Aalto (2014); Carlo Scarpa (2013); Understanding Architecture: A Primer on Architecture as Experience (2012, with Juhani Pallasmaa); Louis I. Kahn (2005), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1997). Among other awards and honors, the curators of the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture selected McCarter as an International Exhibitor, and his exhibit was entitled “Freespace in Place: Four Unrealized Modern Architectural Designs for Venice; Carlo Scarpa’s Quattro progetti per Venezia Revisited;” he also was named one of the “Ten Best Architecture Teachers in the US” by Architect magazine in December 2009.