Those Stones Will Always Evoke Poetry
Italy, 2011, 29'
Frank Lloyd Wright used to say, “the house must not lie on the ground, but rest on it. It is to spring from the ground”. As a matter of fact, Villa Ottolenghi in Bardolino stems from the ground upon which it lies and to which it somehow belongs, thereby almost becoming itself a plot of land with its terrace-roof overlooking Lake Garda. The story of this house, designed by Carlo Scarpa in 1974 and only partially built when he prematurely died in November 1978, is recounted by use of images, sounds and voices, retracing not only the development of the project, but also its very essence. By use of testimonies, original drawings and pictures, both old and new, this overview of the work and its conceptual as well as actual genesis aims at conveying the concrete meaning of architecture and the deepest rationale behind Scarpa’s work. The voices of the protagonists – the generous, longsighted Ottolenghi family, which commissioned the house and has been living there for forty years, and the architects that helped and replaced their master during the last stages of the building process – alternate with the sounds that echo between the walls of the house, orchestrated by Scarpa’s understanding of context, light and materials, which enables matter and sensory impressions to mingle in a game of reflexes that is both physical and metaphorical. After all, as Carlo Ottolenghi - who commissioned the project - wrote to the architect in 1974, “…the stones and rocks that the imagination of Carlo Scarpa will arrange together will always evoke poetry”.