Carlo Scarpa | Obsessions

An image of the interior of a colorful house.

While designing this season’s collection we found ourselves captivated by an hidden architectural treasure designed by the Italian “Stealth Modernist” Carlo Scarpa — Casa Tabarelli, a private residence hidden on the slopes of a vineyard village near Bolzano, Italy.


Understanding Casa Tabarelli’s significance is enriched by understanding Scarpa’s legacy as an explorer of subversion through simplicity. In contrast to the Modernist era’s prevailing showiness, Scarpa used deliberate restraint & an attention to the most subtle detail and textural nuance to reimagine many public spaces (including centuries-old museums where he was guided by creating “a road map for both honoring history and transcending it”).

Two pictures of the interior of a colorful house.

In 1968, Scarpa was commissioned to design a home for his friends Laura and Gianni Tabarelli, a collector couple who lived in the tiny village of Cornaiano. The Tabarellis directed Scarpo and his assistant Sergio Los with a simple brief, desiring “an open, free, very spacious house, in which nature, sun and light enter.”


Casa Tabarelli’s foundation is designed as a continuous circular path, leading like a single corridor from room to room and cut from entirely seamless stone. Above, abstract stucco ceilings in shades of rose, canary yellow, emerald, and cobalt are juxtaposed at varying heights, intended to transform with the days’ changing light — and anchoring the space with their richly bold hues.

An image of a fireplace in a pink wall.

Together, it pays respect to color’s natural order; it posits that, much like observing a field of electric yellow mustard flowers in the distance, amplifying vividity doesn’t mandate “loudness.” On the contrary, when we offer up the entire paintbrush, color can embody a cohesive sophistication, as if it had been there all along.


The approach & home personify Scarpa’s particular ingenuity: designing for “sense of place” by finding new routes to invite in life—an embrace of subtle subversions and loosening of preconceived ideas to perhaps be a better witness to those rare, deeply felt moments of natural harmony.

Two pictures of the interior of a colorful house.