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Casa Zentner in Zurich: an italian Villa in Switzerland

English title Casa Zentner in Zurich: an italian Villa in Switzerland
Applicant Jean Giacinta
Number 156336
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Unit Restoration and Conservation Dept. Environment, Construction Design University of Applied Sciences of Southern S
Institution of higher education University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland - SUPSI
Main discipline Architecture and Social urban science
Start/End 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2017
Approved amount 200'000.00
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Keywords (7)

Frank Lloyd Wright; Angelo Masieri; Carlo Scarpa; Industrial design; Zentner house; 20th-century villas; Dino Gavina

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
Casa Zentner è stata costruita a Zurigo, su progetto di Carlo Scarpa, tra il 1964 e il 1968. Questa è l’unica opera che l’architetto veneziano ha realizzato all’estero. La villa è stata progettata nei minimi dettagli, arredi compresi, ed è sempre stata abitata dai committenti che non hanno mai modificato gli spazi originali. Casa Zentner rappresenta quindi una testimonianza culturale e materiale di altissimo livello, mai studiata approfonditamente.
Lay summary

Soggetto e obiettivo  

Il progetto intende mettere in evidenza e documentare il valore architettonico e culturale di Casa Zentner, considerando la particolare storia dei committenti e il lavoro di progettazione di Scarpa, cercando di situare questa costruzione in un più ampio contesto di riferimento tra Zurigo e Venezia.

Durante la ricerca verranno studiati i disegni conservati presso l’archivio Carlo Scarpa e i documenti presenti in diversi archivi privati. Una fase importante è legata alla raccolta delle preziose testimonianze orali delle diverse persone che hanno partecipato alla realizzazione del progetto.

L’edificio stesso verrà approfonditamente analizzato per comprendere le caratteristiche materiali e strutturali della costruzione che contribuiscono a creare una particolare qualità degli spazi (dagli elementi prefabbricati in calcestruzzo alle raffinate finiture interne).

Contesto socio-scientifico

Casa Zentner rappresenta un esempio molto importante nella carriera di Carlo Scarpa sia per il ruolo giocato dai committenti sia per la progettazione avvenuta “a distanza”. Il suo studio potrà ampliare quanto finora noto sull’iter progettuale e sulla poetica di Scarpa e sui suoi rapporti con l’ambiente culturale e artistico zurighese.

Key words

Carlo Scarpa, Savina Zentner, Angelo Masieri, ville del XX secolo, Zurigo, Frank Lloyd Wright, Dino Gavina. 
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 09.12.2014

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Casa Zentner by Carlo Scarpa was built in Zurich between 1964 and 1968. It is the only work built abroad by the Venetian architect. The villa was designed to the very last detail, including furniture, and it has always been inhabited by the original clients, who have never proceeded to any significant variation. The villa represents a cultural and material testimony of the highest value and it has never been the subject of a monographic study.
Lay summary

 Topic and aim

Goals of the project are to identify and document the architectural and cultural significance of Casa Zentner in relation to the peculiar history of the clients, and to the work of Carlo Scarpa, setting this house within a broader context between Venice and Zurich.  

The research will study the drawings at the Archivio Carlo Scarpa and the documents in different private archives. An important part of the project is the collection of information through oral history, including the unique possibility of interviewing some of the original participants in its designing and building.

Zentner house itself will be analysed to understand the constructive and material features contributing to its particular character (from the use of prefabricated cast concrete elements to the more precious hand-made details).

 Social scientific context

Zentner house constitutes a relevant example in Scarpa's career for the clients involved, and the long distance context, which could shed a new light on his poetic and design approach and understanding the nature of the exchanges between Scarpa and the Zurich artistic and architectural milieu.

 Key words

Carlo Scarpa, Savina Zentner, Angelo Masieri, 20th century villas, Zurich, Frank Lloyd Wright, Dino Gavina. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 09.12.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Savina Zentner e Carlo Scarpa, architettura e amicizia
Martinis R. (2019), Savina Zentner e Carlo Scarpa, architettura e amicizia, in Casabella, (899-900), 62-89.
Zentner House in Zurich: A villa by Carlo Scarpa abroad and its Furniture
Fornari D. Martinis R. (2016), Zentner House in Zurich: A villa by Carlo Scarpa abroad and its Furniture, in The 10th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies, TaipeiBlucher Design Proceedings, San Paolo.
Casa Zentner: Development of a Conservation Strategy
Jean G Martinis R. Fornari D. (2016), Casa Zentner: Development of a Conservation Strategy, in Adaptive Reuse. The Modern Movement towards the future, LisbonDocomomo International, Lisbon.
Un americano in volta di Canal. Frank Lloyd Wright e il Masieri Memorial
Martinis R. (2016), Un americano in volta di Canal. Frank Lloyd Wright e il Masieri Memorial, in Bonaiti M. Rostagno C. (ed.), Quodlibet, Macerata, 17-31.
Carlo Scarpa. Casa Zentner a Zurigo: una villa italiana in Svizzera
Fornari D., JeanG., MartinisR., Carlo Scarpa. Casa Zentner a Zurigo: una villa italiana in Svizzera, Electa Architettura, Milano Italy.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Centro Carlo Scarpa Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Carlo Scarpa e Venezia Talk given at a conference Savina Rizzi-Zentner e Carlo Scarpa. Trent'anni di amicizia e architettura 28.11.2018 Venezia, Italy Martinis Roberta;
10th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies Talk given at a conference Zentner House in Zurich: A villa by Carlo Scarpa abroad and its Furniture 26.10.2016 Taipei, Taiwan Fornari Davide;
Adaptive Reuse. The Modern Movement towards the future Talk given at a conference Casa Zentner: Development of a Conservation Strategy 06.09.2016 Lisbon, Portugal Jean Giacinta;
Seminario Atelier '900 Individual talk Studio e problemi conservativi di una grande villa privata: Casa Zentner a Zurigo 11.05.2016 Roma, Università La Sapienza, Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni architettonici e del paesaggio, Italy Jean Giacinta;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
180699 Carlo Scarpa. Casa Zentner a Zurigo: una villa italiana in Svizzera 01.05.2018 Publication grants

Abstract

Casa Zentner by Carlo Scarpa was built in Zurich between 1964 and 1968. It is the only work built abroad by the Venetian architect. The villa, designed to the very last detail, including furniture, has always been inhabited by the original clients, who have never proceeded to any significant variation. Thus the villa represents a cultural and material testimony of the highest value. Due to its location in Switzerland and to the inaccessibility of Scarpa archives until few years ago, the house has never been the subject of a monographical study. Now the house is temporarily uninhabited and the family would grant the permission to carry out a complete research on this building. This is a unique opportunity to study the villa for what it has been, for what it is now, and for what it might be in the future.The research aims at:- identifying and documenting the architectural and cultural significance of this building in relation to the peculiar history of the clients, and to the work of Carlo Scarpa, setting this house within a broader context; - identifying conservation challenges that could raise awareness on the preservation of 20th century living houses.The research will be carried out by an interdisciplinary team, integrating the methods and views of the architectural historian, the conservation architect and the industrial design scholar. The exceptional added value of this study is also the possibility to establish a fruitful collaboration with Edoardo Zentner, the eldest son of Scarpa’s clients and with the architect Theo Senn (now aged 82) who worked permanently on site and allowed Scarpa’s sketches and ideas to be realised. His unforgettable experience needs to be collected and recorded.
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