Interni (Design Affair)

Edited by
Virginio Briatore
Paolo Utimpergher
N° 536
60, 62, 64

SHOWROOM Alessi Bassano

Bassano is Veneto profound. Beauty, history, culture, wealth, identity, frank dialogue, but not without challenges and entrenchment. Here, two generations of entrepreneurs from Vicenza, the Alessi family, the greatest Venetian architect of ‘900, Carlo Scarpa, and a young architect from Padua, Claudio Caramel, find with the language of design and of architecture a land of imaginary dialogue in and beyond modernity.

In 1952, the Alessi family, already owner of other stores in the Vicenza area, opens in the center of Bassano a store that stands out for its courageous choice of exposed pieces. Gavina is one of the brands present in the store and it will be exactly Dino Gavina to introduce Carlo Scarpa to Mrs Alessi, who in the ’70s wants to renew the exhibition space.

The layout of the project, that has never been realized because of the sudden death of the author, in 1977/78 and comes to the execution phase, with construction details controlled by Carlo Scarpa the same.

In 2001, the young Michele Alessi turns him to the Caramel study with the intent to completely rethink the store annexing even the above, but not connected, apartment.

Became aware of this project, Claudio Caramel, whose father, the architect Sergio, had graduated with Carlo Scarpa of which was then an assistant professor and friend, examines with great respect the project. This, which covered only the ground floor, is studied in detail and the architect Caramel understands and shares two strong points: the entrance that is moved from the center window to the left side, and the maintenance of the circular bearing wall, of which preserves, while modifying them, the opening to the right and the large cut on the left. The new store is doubled and sum to 128 meters the 124 of the existing first floor.

Claudio Caramel chose to work on space, light, depth of the visuals. He uses few materials, playing on slight differences in tone: white ivory, ice, light and warm grey, and sand.

From the architectural point of view this is an intervention ‘definite’, marked by the staircase whose luminous niches, as well as other cutting-height ‘s eye, during the night tell geometries dear to Donald Judd. An intervention treated with delicacy, with typical details of Venetian culture, including the ground attack of the curved wall, dug in a sand-blasted stone plinth, the same used in the slabs for the threshold that divides the front and the back. The white curve seems to loose and sailing as a crescent moon on the resin ‘spatial’ of the dark floor.

Slowly, historical pieces and new design icons occupy the space to them reserved by a dialogue of Venetian architecture.

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Page 1: Overview of Bellavitis street in Bassano, with the entrance in the left of the window. Plant native of Carlo Scarpa. The existing curved wall divides the exhibition space on the ground floor, flooring resin ‘Cementix’ type with threshold stone blasted Adria.

Page 2: Ground floor plan. The scale with expositives niches. The entrance and the curved wall seen from the top of the ladder at the bottom the ladder that leads to the small office on two levels.

Page 3: Views of the main exhibition space. The small photo shows the eye’s height’s cuts in the wall and the ground attack, with the base perimeter stone blasted. Projected by Claudio Caramel, with Andrea Marin and Francesco Tombacco.