7 March 2023

Tracey Winton, “Re-reading Museo Castelvecchio: Behind the Scenes with Carlo Scarpa”

Advanced studies’ seminar on sacred space hosted by Eric Parry Architects, 7 March 2023. With Professor Tracey Winton (University of Waterloo):

00:00:00 José de Paiva
00:02:28 Eric Parry
00:03:21 Tracey Winton – Keynote presentation
00:44:23 José de Paiva
00:49:02 Dagmar Weston
00:55:46 Matthew Barac
01:01:48 Dagmar Weston
01:05:05 Peter Carl
01:12:15 Eric Parry

The topic for discussion is how Carlo Scarpa developed the modern architectural language for his adaptive reuse project for this famous regional museum in Verona. My research is driven by a desire to understand Scarpa’s work at a pedagogical level, by unpacking parts of his creative process. Through a cultural history lens I make a close reading of certain elements of the complex, including buildings, ruins, artifacts, water and landscape. Supported by circumstantial clues furnished by projects, interests, collaborators, and activities over the same period, evidence suggests that this lengthy project produced more than just a good building, that it is a critical project which served as a kind of manifesto for modern architecture in relation to history and tradition. My talk on this work-in-progress traces out specific components of an episodic narrative, and the role of dramatization and performance, including the building’s entry sequence and places configured within the courtyard, as well as key strategies, concepts and motifs that propelled his design, across the architectural spectrum from how he handled materials up to the spiritual plane of experience, and references run from Eolithic fossils to Marcel Duchamp.

Tracey Eve Winton is a scholar of architectural history, artist, and Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo. She holds a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Architecture, produced 11 works of experimental theatre, and taught in Rome and Italy over a decade. Framed by her studies in Cultural History, her research topics range widely including architectural narrative, spatial symbolism, iconography, indexicality and cultural history; current research investigates how myth and poetics foster meanings in narrative movement in traditional Balinese and Indian temples, and language of modern architecture in the work of Carlo Scarpa and Bruno Zevi. In 2014, the ACSA gave her a prestigious Creative Achievement Award for her original theatre works, and in 2018 she received the NCBDS Faculty Award for teaching excellence. Recent publications include an essay on Balinese temple theatre (forthcoming), investigation of space-time in Giorgio de Chirico, an architectural reading of the famous Renaissance library in the Palazzo Ducale at Urbino, and a co-authored essay on the architecture of Rome viewed through Peter Greenaway’s film, The Belly of An Architect. She currently holds a research grant from SSHRC for upcoming field work in India.