Paul Rudolph’s and Carlo Scarpa’s Interaction with the Environment

Jordan Moumne

Authors:  Jordan Moumne

Faculty Mentor:  Jeffrey Carney

College:  College of Design, Construction, and Planning


This paper examines how Paul Rudolph and Carlo Scarpa design buildings in a seemingly harsh environment to connect occupants to that which is around them. It involves the study of Fondazione Quarini Stampalia and Camping Fusina by Scarpa, along with the Umbrella House and the Healy Guest House by Rudolph, analyzing the buildings through methods of site visits, photography, and drawing. Specifically, it analyzes how the architects frame the environment, experiment with view, explore visible connection of the ground, planning for the inevitable flooding that will occur, and creating a feeling of safety for people to positively interact with what is around them. This study determines that while all these methods are important in designing buildings, it is how the architects develop an appreciation of the environment by the occupants that is imperative in designing for the future of Florida. For a more resilient Florida that can handle the environmental pressure being forced on it while also developing a design language that makes Florida’s architecture stand out.

Keywords: architecture, environment

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11 Responses
  1. Hana Cicevic

    Hi Jordan! Great project and research! It must have been real fun visiting all of these places. Is there anything, in particular, you were trying to analyze with the diagrams in the future works section?

  2. Larissa Krinos

    Hi Jordan, your poster looks great! I know that you said that Florida needs to do better with the level which homes are built, are there any notable structures or neighborhoods in Florida that you saw doing this via a more private individualized effort?

  3. Jordan Moumne

    Hi Hana,

    Thank you for your kind words. It was very, very fun! The diagrams in the future works section were sketches taken on site. The first sketch was analyzing the pathway that Scarpa sculpts to move water through the ground at Brion’s Tomb. The second sketch was looking at how Scarpa created these heavy planters that sit sturdy while water flood underneath them at Fondazione Quarini Stampalia. The third is looking at the framing of Brion’s Tomb and the conditions that the occupant experiences as he moves from the “inside” to the “outside” towards the Tomb.

  4. Jordan Moumne

    Hi Larissa,

    Thank you! Yes I have. Now, when you build a structure along the coast it has to have a response towards the potential of flooding and storm surge. Often now, designers have to “raise” the house by making the base floor a garage space and the first living space on what once would have been considered the second level. This is prominent in Sarasota beach house designs currently but should be implemented on a larger scale. Also there are certain regulations that limit the height of the houses to maintain the property value of houses behind them, further from the storm. This regulation makes it difficult to convince owners to raise their house up more because it takes away from the buildable space that they have within that height limit.

  5. Justin Daniels

    Hey Jordan, excellent presentation and poster.

    You mentioned in the presentation that Carlo Scarpa brings water inside in order to have an impact on the building. What were these impacts?

    1. Jordan Moumne

      Hello Justin,

      It depends on the building. Overall he does it to bring people closer to nature. It also acts in a way that guides people through the building, as a way-finding tool. In Fondazione Quarini Stampalia, based in Venice, Italy, he starts by allowing the water from the canals to flow into the building so people can enter from the boat that they took to get there. From there, he moves the water through the garden to guide people through the garden to the café and other spaces. This differs significantly from his more functional use of water in the design of the Campina Fusina bathrooms, where the water is more controlled by the function and he uses stone to build up the movement. Overall though, it has more of an impact on how an occupant would view the building and nature. Thank you for your question!

  6. Macartney Ewing

    Super interesting how, in your results, you discuss how Florida is suffering from a lack of connection with the environment – it is that much more true amid this pandemic. Hopefully, this stay-home order may result in a greater appreciation for the beautiful nature we can enjoy when life resumes as normal, and people will have more consideration for their environments and how their homes and buildings interact with it.

  7. Jordan Moumne

    Hello Macartney,

    I completely agree. The more time I spend inside, the more true I realize this is. Florida is flush with a natural beauty that the designs for houses need to explore!