Carlo Scarpa: noble concrete at the Brion cemetery

The monumental Tomba Brion in San Vito di Altivole was commissioned to the architect Carlo Scarpa by Onorina Brion Tomasin in memory of her husband Giuseppe Brion, an industrialist renowned for the Brionvega trademark, a symbol of “Made in Italy” design of radio and television appliances in the 1960s and '70s.

Works began in 1969 and Scarpa personally supervised them until 1978, the year he accidentally fell to his death in Japan. The tomb was finished after the architect’s death.

The work can be interpreted in many different ways, with difficult and perhaps even infinite meanings: order and complexity, rigour and confusion intermingle and inexplicably coexist, as in a huge theatre of life, where at one moment you think you have unravelled the plot but a moment later you are more confused than before.
The most attentive observer is able to grasp many references, Wright, Japanese gardens, Mondrian, the meaning of the symbols; but it is not essential to understand all of them and Scarpa was convinced of that when he said:

If the architecture is good, whoever listens to it and looks at it feels its benefits without realizing it. The environment educates in a critical way.
— Carlo Scarpa

Scarpa also expressed his desire to be buried in this place, in a hidden and humble spot. We can only ask ourselves why.

To learn more about this wonderful work we recommend to listen the original interview by Carlo Scarpa speaking about Tomba Brion, released in 1971 from the italian public television.

I willingly go to see this unique work because it seems to have captured the sense of the countryside, just as the Brion family wanted. Everyone goes there with great enthusiasm, children play and dogs run. All cemeteries should be like this one.
— Carlo Scarpa