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My Pilgrimage to Tomba Brion By Photographer Darren

Darren is an American architectural photographer with a passion for mid-century modern architecture and design. Born in 1972 in Honolulu, HI, Darren took his first pictures for a photography class while a freshman in high school. He was instantly hooked. He took his camera everywhere, turned his parents’ laundry into his darkroom, became the school newspaper photographer, and worked at a darkroom in college – but his obsession eventually faded, and when he moved to France to finish his schooling in 1995, he didn’t even bring a camera with him.

Upon returning to the US in 1998, he and his wife rented a mid-century modern house in Palm Springs, CA, and he was smitten. He began researching, exploring and appreciating modernist architecture more and more. This new awareness also rekindled his love of photography as he sought to document the buildings he was discovering. Things started taking off from there…

While in Venice last week, Darren had to make an obligatory stop at the enigmatic Brion Cemetery, by Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa. Most people have never heard of this place, located outside a small village about an hour’s drive (or train ride) north of Venice, near the city of Treviso. Most people have never heard of Carlo Scarpa, either, for that matter. But to most architects, Brion Cemetery has an almost mythical status as a pilgrimage site.

Darren’s work has now appeared in large-format art books, academic and professional architecture journals, and lifestyle magazines around the world. He regularly accepts commissions from architects, builders, developers and homeowners.

More info: Website

Tomba Brion by Carlo Scarpa

 

Church of San Giovanni Battista by Mario Botta. Carlo Scarpa was Botta's thesis advisor. You can clearly see Scarpa's influence in Botta's work.
Church of San Giovanni Battista by Mario Botta. Carlo Scarpa was Botta’s thesis advisor. You can clearly see Scarpa’s influence in Botta’s work.
Olivetti showroom at the Piazza San Marco by Carlo Scarpa (1958). Photo ©Darren Bradley
Olivetti showroom at the Piazza San Marco by Carlo Scarpa (1958). Photo ©Darren Bradley

Scarpa's grave site. He was apparently buried standing up, wrapped in linen like a medieval knight. Photo ©Darren Bradley

The entry portal from the main part of the cemetery. Photo ©Darren Bradley

The narrow corridor is a classic example of compression and release, as well as the symbolism and contrasting materials so often present in Scarpa's work. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Narrow corridor leading to the floating meditation pavilion. Note the glass door blocking access. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Meditation Pavilion. Photo ©Darren Bradley

View from the garden of the Brion Cemetery, looking back through the viseca pisces to the entry and main cemetery. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Water feature leading to the sarcophagus of the Brion family patriarch and his wife. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Cantilevered barrel vault sheltering the tombs of Onorina and Giuseppe Brion. Photo @Darren Bradley

Why do normal steps when you can do these? Photo ©Darren Bradley

A sort of stylized, cantilevered pyramid shelters the graves of other Brion family members. Photo @Darren Bradley

Entrance to the chapel. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Interior portal/antechamber in the chapel. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Chapel interior, with door leading to the rear garden. That garden can only be accessed through the chapel. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Chapel altar. Photo ©Darren Bradley

View of the chapel. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Rear garden, with view back towards the chapel. Photo ©Darren Bradley

View of chapel floating on reflecting pond. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Detail view of chapel side entrance. Note how the concrete details continue underwater, as well. Photo ©Darren Bradley

View of rear courtyard out to rear entrance, with chapel. Photo ©Darren Bradley

An elephant, an owl, and a hedgehog

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