Τhe aim of this research paper is to attempt, through the study of the work of the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa (1906- 1978), to uncover and describe the less obvious and said design qualities in his work that are rendered through the properties of water.
While his design writing shows strong elements of the modern movement, he could not be described as a faithful representative of it. With a strong localist element of Venetian culture, Scarpa, unlike any other representatives of modernism, formulated his own architectural language, blending elements of modernism with those of Venice, thus respectfully bridging past and future, always leaving their qualitative differences intact.
The water element is dominant in his work. He embodied in himself as a result of his Venetian origins, embodied with skill in his mainly-scale works in an endless attempt to transfer the past to the present and to deposit the present in the past. By borrowing the properties of water in modern materials such as concrete, he manages to answer the problem of the weightlessness of structures, while masterfully combining materials of different origins and qualities.
On the occasion of his works in which water plays a leading role, an attempt will be made to decipher the aquatic techniques and tools that Scarpa, as a highly trained Venetian craftsman, uses in order to create an integrated sensory spatial experience in which the visitor actively participates by experiencing the space.
Scarpa seems to be proof that architect’s design must be based on a deep knowledge of the historical past of a place in order to be able to stand up responsibly and honestly to the uncontrollable architectural demands of tomorrow.