AU Bespoke was born out of a love for beautiful design and an appreciation for unique products with their own heritage; each piece in the collection has proved its longevity and is therefore not only a classic piece of design but also, a sustainable investment. But talking about making sustainable choices is easy: what exactly is the ethos behind AU and why has each individual piece been chosen to be a part of the collection?
Carlo Scarpa and his approach to architecture, in particular his sympathetic pairing of the old with the new, has given rise to some of today’s design classics and provides much inspiration for AU.
Born in Venice in 1906, Scarpa spent most of his childhood in Vicenza before returning to the Floating City. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, obtaining his diploma in 1926 and then going on to teach architectural drawing. By the time he joined Venini Glassworks in 1932, Scarpa’s deep passion and admiration for craft was obvious. A perfectionist, he would often stay throughout the night alongside the glass blowers in order to perfect new designs.
Brion Cemetery in San Vito d’Altivole near Treviso, Italy. Scarpa was commissioned to create a collection of concrete structures for the Brion family’s private tomb. Photo by Alessia Iannace
Only after World War II did Scarpa begin to gain recognition around the globe for his architecture. This, in turn, led to commissions in and around Venice. Celebrated for his renovation of existing buildings, he certainly did not shy away from modern manufacturing materials or techniques. However, what made him unique was that he ensured equal footing was given to time-honoured crafts so that the history and detail of the buildings was not eclipsed by the modern, but instead, preserved and indeed, enhanced by it.