With little time in Verona, one must visit Castelvecchio Museum to examine how a designer deals with his or her context. CarloScarpa, as mentioned earlier, embraces his context and often does not overpower the past architecture. The above perspective of Castelvecchio contrast the museum and the original walls.
The bird tail design is present on the merlons not only the rear bridge, but also the surrounding walls of the Castelvecchio.
Connection detail of the Museum to the Wall. The stark contrast of the brick and plaster represents the difference in volumes between the museum wing and the wall.
Perspective of the Castelvecchio Museum wing and the entry garden.
Scarpa’s intervention of introducing this playful wall on the facade does not take away from the wholesomeness of the building. This action does contrast what he normally does—as depicted below.
Scarpa pulls the glazing behind the original arch to de-emphasize his design and celebrate the original architecture. The dark mullions hides itself behind the bright white plastered walls. Scarpa essential uses the contextual architecture to skin the museum.
One would only view the piers, columns and arches of the facade, but neglect the glazing behind it because it hides itself in Scarpa’s play of depth.
Scarpa’s subtle use of modern techniques in this medieval building appears (minimally) in the support beam of the museum lobby. The dark steel beam hides itself in the light wood similarly to that of the the dark mullions.
Interior perspective of the museum gallery.
Scarpa holds his design concept true not only in Castelvecchio, but also in his building, Banco Populare dei Verona. The “metal framework” of mullions recedes behind the plaster skin of the facade.
This wood and steel composite rail detail epitomizes not only Scarpa’s play with classic and modern materials, but also his attention to detail.
The steel frame receding behind a plaster skin alludes to the Castelvecchio’s detail. The contrast in the basic geometry, along with the depth allow for a stronger articulation the layering of the facade.
Scarpa’s modern stair perspective in the Banco Populare dei Verona.
Right after a long ride from the states (which included a seven hour plane and a 3 hour bus ride), we were greeted by one of Verona’s infamous gates on the south end of Corso Porta Nuova. The massive turrets located on the opposite side once served as a means of defense, and its rustication iterates that same purpose.
Other remnants of the gate are featured at Piazza Bra, and Via Degli Alpini. Looking at the remains of these walls, one can witness the voids whose purpose was to support the scaffolding. Repairs and renovations attribute to the different textures of the brick. The outline of a building which once shared a wall with the gate only remains
View down Corso Porta Nuova into the city center.
Map of Verona
Looking at the journey through Verona in retrospect—with the plan highlighted above—one could say the city lacks the formal grid of Manhattan in the United States and favors a more organic growth. Due to such irregular growth, the building addresses the public in a way that softens the acute angles. (1/4m radius from city center)
Perspective of of an intersection showing the varying degrees of each street as opposed to the right-angle in the Manhattan grid.
Ruin in Parca della Mura
Modern housing on Via G. Marconi
The remnants of a ruin in Parca della Mura reminds us that the city has a past, and as architects and designers, we’re at a constant struggle to embrace it or reject it. One architect who decided to embrace it was Carlo Scarpo and his renovation to Castelvacchio (pictured below)
Juxtaposing the original Castelvacchio to Scarpa’s addition.