Carlo Scarpa’s Brion-Vega Cemetery in Italy

Carlo Scarpa’s Brion-Vega Cemetery in Italy

One of Carlo Scarpa’s most iconic and seminal built works (and a project so close to his heart that a space in it was saved for his own use) was the Brion family cemetery.

Scarpa (1906-1978) designed the Brion-Vega in San Vito d’Altivole, near Italy’s Treviso, as an extension to the family’s existing cemetery. The architect developed the geometrical concrete composition over a 10-year period, with works finally reaching completion in 1978.

The L-shaped plot includes a complex of five buildings; a small chapel, the entrance hall, a small steel-and-wood pavilion on an island in the site’s water pond, the main tomb, and an open-air structure covering the graves.


Behind the scenes for W*114, August 2008

Aiming to create a poetic resting place as much as a sculptural memorial in a green, calming garden, Scarpa used well-thought-out design features; for example, the cemetery walls are not higher than the surrounding field’s plants, discreetly merging the structure into the landscape.

Within the site, there is also a small island with no apparent access for visitors, which perhaps works as a metaphor for the afterlife.

The architect himself rests, vertically, in the cemetery walls, after passing away in 1978 during a trip to Japan – the same year that his last masterpiece was finished. §

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