Having seen a wealth of Carlo Scarpa buildings and sculptures in Venice, I was starting overdose on Scarpa architecture. The Castelvecchio, however, a museum located within the complex of a solid red brick fortress on the banks of Verona’s river Adige, only secured by love for all things Scarpa. Restored by Carlo Scarpa from 1957 to 1975, the museum has all the hallmarks of a classic Scarpa building, with carefully considered details ranging from the stands and fixtures holding up the Byzantine art, to the apertures and openings that mark the meetings of different materials.
The main wow-factor for me appeared after the initial series of gallery rooms, where a balancing act of ramps and staircases attach the gallery to the fortress wall and bridge across the river. Here a statue of a Lord on a horse, Cangrande- the greatest of the della Scala family, the Lords of Verona in the fourteenth century- stands precariously on a landing strip looking over the Giardini below. Scarpa demolished part of a barracks added by the occupying French during the nineteenth century. Thus, Scarpa renovated the Castelvecchio originally built in 1354, patching up the ancient and old with the modern, not only turning the museum into a classic masterpiece mimicking the textures and forms of the Byzantine and Renaissance, but also subtly pointing the visitor to its illustrious past.