He was chosen because the building was to be erected in memory of a young architecture student, Angelo Masieri, killed in an accident while on a pilgrimage to Wright’s most famous building, ‘Falling Water’ in Pennsylvania. Never before had so distinguished an architect from outside Italy been awarded a commission in Venice. Wright’s design shows how imaginatively traditional Venetian elements, such as tall windows with projecting balconies, could be incorporated into the personal style of a contemporary architect. With its informal arrangement of horizontal and vertical accents, and the casual build-up of shapes from the lower building on the left to the tall Palazzo Balbi on the right, Wright’s design had none of the severity of del Giudice’s Fascist-style fire station a few yards away in the Rio di Ca’ In the event the project was vigorously opposed, above all by the next-door neighbours, the wealthy owners of the Palazzo Balbi, who persuaded the authorities to reject the scheme. The final compromise solution, which insisted on the preservation of the facade of the existing building on the site, was a sad loss. In the course of the conversion, the old facade collapsed and had to be largely rebuilt. The result is an exterior without character or distinction fig. L24. Only a year after Wright designed his Venetian house, the new railway station, a building of considerably less stature, made its appearance in the urban scene of Venice fig.


Art Words by Lizzie Mary Cullen | Homes & Interiors Scotland. Quintessentially British: Eccentric Holiday Homes for Quirky Tourists

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