Museo di Castelvecchio
In Castelvecchio, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
It’s significant to think, for the history of the architecture, that a fortified castle symbolizing and catacterizing the town could change only in recent times, compared to its large-span history; recent and peace times. Not for the reason it was conceived for, but thanks to a more than 10 years surgery.
Carlo Scarpa had been contacted by Licisco Magagnato in 1958 for a temporary exhibition. The synergy created between the former partisan, political militant, historian of arts and the venetian Professor continued in different phases until 1964, year of the new opening of the museum.
The sign of the opera scarpiana is the willing of renovation: the set-up fixed in the early 20s by the director Avena and the architect Forlati gave to what lasted of the Austrian military complex grafted on the castle: a general historicistics settings, made by an assemblage of real gothic elements on the façade and historically reconstructed frescoes and rooms.
Scarpa’s intervention overlays as a huge mediation between this old entity and the surgery, aiming to calibrate a new museum based on modern museographic bases thought for a slow and intimate experience of visit.
The main interventions are radical modification to the structure and a new path of visit, the opening of a forgotten but existing gate connecting the two main courtyards, passing under the public street of the bridge. Or also the collocation of the Cangrande’s statue, the most precious valuable monument of the veronese history on a 7 meters concrete basament: yes, in public, yes, outside and for free, but in a ad-hoc created scenario, or the insertion of the cube of the sacello and of its marble-mosaic tiles.
All is completed by several fine interventions such as the “insertion” of a mondrian-inspired layer behind the gothic openings of the two storeys of the Galleria, or the great work behind the choose and the matching between cements, concretes, plasters, metals, woods, textiles, venetian stuccos, which single value is multiplied by the differents works on their surfaces; it contributes definitely to give the feeling of a timeless place.