Dream of Venice Architecture
Venice is not just place, but a state of mind. And Bella Figura Publications’ ‘Dream of Venice Architecture’ captures both aspects.
For someone like me who collects quotes about Venice, Dream of Venice Architecture is a goldmine. The photos by Riccardo De Cal are evocative and elusive like dreams placing a shroud of mystery over the urban spaces. And the short essays capture the duality between water and land, nature and technology, opulence and decay, grandeur and modesty, fluidity and firmness, shimmering light and dense fog that is Venice. Nothing in Venice is commonplace either or.
New aspects of known places
The contributors to this second book in the Dream of Venice series come from all over the world. Architects and architectural writers from such diverse places as USA, Italy, Japan, Russia, England, Germany, Scotland, Mexico, Canada and China share their view on the lagoon city. And by seeing the sights and landmarks through their eyes, you discover interesting, new aspects of known places. Like the Olivetti’s in St Mark’s Square which I’d never noticed before.
In the same way, I’ve come to appreciate the complexity of a constrained Venetian garden space. The association to water in a shimmering marble floor. The variations in wood panelling, stone frames and handle styles in Venetian doors with their four-digit entrance numbers. The symbolic windvane on top of Punta della Dogana. And the enigmatic sotoporteghi passageways.
Immense pleasure and profound sadness
Dream of Venice Architecture is not just another book on Venice, but an introduction to the subtleties left out by ordinary guide books. And you don’t even have to visit Venice to enjoy spatial poetry described.
I fully agree with Annabelle Selldorf, when she writes: ‘It is this coexistence of immense pleasure and profound sadness that makes Venice, for me, the perfect place. But Venice is also tricky. There is nothing innocent of forthright and deception is everywhere, perhaps used with the intention of protecting a precarious paradise. These contradictions fascinate me.’
Images from Dream of Venice Architecture by Riccardo De Cal
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