Fondazione Querini Stampalia: Gold and Green

Read the the expert’s voice: Marigusta Lazzari, Director of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia.


On the ground floor of the Palazzo Querini Stampalia, a noble family’s 16th century private home turned-museum with a world-class collection of Venetian paintings, lies Carlo Scarpa’s immersive intervention. Entering the Scarpa-designed space, the eye is tricked into following the flickering light reflected from the surface of the water into the building, the glistening travertine-stone corridor punctuated by bands of gold and light throughout the Luzzatto hall, and culminating into an all-encompassing explosion of greenery in the garden.

The expert’s voice: Marigusta Lazzari, Director of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia.

Which natural elements tied to the city of Venice are evoked by Carlo Scarpa?

The role played by water is a key element in understanding the space designed by Carlo Scarpa. Water, and with it light; its flickering reflection from the water’s surface spreading onto the stuccoed ceiling through to the Luzzatto hall, are a visual indication of the opening of the Fondazione to the city. City residents and visitors need to feel welcomed at their first glance from the exterior, leading the eyes to seamlessly embrace the internal space as far as the garden.

Which specific Scarpa-designed detail would you point out to those visiting the Fondazione?

There are many details I would suggest to observe, given Scarpa’s architecture pays great attention to detail itself. I would point out the surprising sliding door carved in travertine marble in the Luzzato Room and the radiator covers, more than just practical coverings, these are true sculptures in Istrian stone decorated with bands of pure gold. There’s also the electrical panel in the atrium made up of two inversely intersecting geometrical elements sheathed in golden-looking Muntz metal, as well as the extraordinary lamp, basin and fountain in the garden, and the elaborate designs of the water gates at the entrance.