Olivetti Showroom, Italy | Carlo Scarpa

“If the architecture is any good, a person who looks and listens will feel its good effects
without noticing.” (Carlo Scarpa)

The Poetry of Details

Looking out from beneath the imposing colonnades on the northern edge of Piazza
San Marco in Venice is the 1958 Olivetti Showroom. A masterpiece of 20th-century
architecture, it was commissioned to showcase the Italian technology manufacturer’s
cutting-edge products, but most importantly, to demonstrate Italian architect Carlo
Scarpa’s exceptional talent.

Born in Venice, Scarpa’s attention to detail, appreciation of craft and instinctive
approach to materials are nearly unmatched in contemporary architecture. A main
feature of the showroom is the central staircase that was created using cantilevered
offset slabs of marble that seemingly hang in the air. The hand-cut square glass mosaic
of the showroom’s floor was Scarpa’s homage to Murano, where he had previously
been director of the Venini glassworks.

Scarpa always enjoyed working closely with craftsmen and took deep pleasure in the
two-way design process. His architecture, a delicate yet striking combination of
modernism, historicism and craftsmanship, is as relevant today as it ever was.

Find out more on www.domani.be.

Published on February 24, 2022

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